No New Trial As Charges Dismissed, Kim Long Exonerated
Long’s case dismissed after she spent seven years in prison for a murder she did not commit
Riverside, April 22, 2022 – Kimberly Long’s years-long legal battle ended today when her case was dismissed after the Riverside District Attorney Office chose not to re-prosecute. Long spent seven years in prison before her conviction was reversed. She then spent four years out on bail while her case went through the appeals process, which ended in November of last year with a unanimous decision from the California Supreme Court to uphold the reversal of her conviction. The District Attorney’s decision not to retry Long brings an end to this legal saga.
Last November, the California Supreme Court tossed out Kimberly Long’s murder conviction, deciding that if the jury had heard new evidence developed by the California Innocence Project, including new time of death analysis, the jury would not have convicted her. In its decision, the Court wrote, “The [trial] court ruled that expert testimony estimating time of death before [Kim] arrived home ‘could reasonably raise a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors’ and ‘could be fatal to the People’s case.’ Applying our independent judgment, we agree.”
Kim was released in 2016 after her trial judge, Riverside Superior Court Judge Magers reversed her conviction, finding the result of the trial would have been different had the jury heard from a time of death expert about when the victim, Kim’s live-in boyfriend, died. Kim was released on bail that year despite an appeal by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. The Court of Appeal reversed the Superior Court. The California Supreme Court then reversed the Court of Appeal, sending the case back to the beginning of the process.
“I am grateful to the Riverside District Attorney’s Office for making the decision not to re-prosecute,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project and a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego. “Considering the evidence in this case it was the right decision.”
Despite the years-long legal battle, Kim has been gainfully employed and enjoying her freedom to the best of her ability since her release.
“I’m so happy I can now put this case behind me and move on with my life,” said Kimberly Long. “It’s been hanging over my head for so long, but now I am just looking to the future.”
About the California Innocence Project
The California Innocence Project is a California Western School of Law clinical program dedicated to the release of wrongfully convicted inmates and providing an outstanding educational experience for students enrolled in the clinic. The California Innocence Project receives approximately 1,500 claims from inmates each year and has freed 35 wrongfully convicted clients since its inception. Read more at: https://CaliforniaInnocenceProject.org