.. witnesses described the shooter as a woman in her 30s with scars under her eyes wearing black pants and a black coat. However, then 16-year-ol Jacobs was quickly arrested one hour after the crime still wearing a white dress she wore to church that morning.
“Faye’s case has all the hallmarks of a wrongful conviction — incentivized testimony, procedures known to lead to eyewitness misidentifications and absolutely inadequate counsel,” said Tricia Bushnell, Executive Director of the Midwest Innocence Project. “Faye’s attorneys never investigated the crime and didn’t even ask the state for its files. As a result, they never spoke to five additional eyewitnesses who saw the crime and stated that Faye was not the shooter.”
At Jacobs’ trial in 1993, the state of Arkansas relied on two eyewitnesses — a traumatized teenage victim and an incentivized witness. The teenager originally did not identify Jacobs when shown her photo on two occasions, but later identifyed her after being told to do so by others. The incentivized witness only came forward after being arrested on charges of his own weeks after the crime and has since recanted his identification of Jacobs as the murderer.
“Social science now confirms the identification procedures used back in 1992 increased the risk of eyewitness misidentification,” said Bushnell. “And eyewitness misidentification is a leading cause of wrongful convictions. It has played a role in more than 75 percent of convictions overturned through DNA testing.”
“Faye’s case exemplifies just how difficult it is to overturn a conviction in our justice system,” said Bushnell. “It should not be this hard, but she’s not done seeking justice and neither are we.”Judge Barry Sims signed the order clearing the way for Jacobs' release on Monday.