DNA Evidence Reopens Pearce Case


Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak told the Idaho Press-Tribune last week that there may be DNA evidence to exonerate Sarah Pearce, who was convicted in 2003 of assaulting motorist Linda LeBrane.

"The investigation has been reopened because the Innocence Project believes they have a lead on new DNA evidence that would prove the defendant's innocence," Bujak said. "My understanding is that the (national) Innocence Project has successfully worked to free defendants wrongfully convicted." —Bujak

We interviewed Idaho Innocence Project Director Greg Hampikian last week. In a statement that arrived over the weekend, Hampikian praised Bujak's willingness to examine the new evidence.

“We are very pleased that John Bujak and his investigators have reopened this case and are following up on new leads, and we are happy to play a supporting role in their investigation. We believe that a mistake was made in this case and that there is potentially someone who has committed a crime who is still on the streets while the wrong person is behind bars. The IIP is very pleased to be working with police departments and victims as well as prisoners and their families to find the truth. We’re more than an Innocence Project; we help find the truly guilty people, too.” — Hampikian