A few months after joining KH in 2021, Susan Coppedge (now Executive Director of Georgia Legal Services Program) agreed to take on a pro bono case. Tiffany Simpson, a wrongly convicted survivor of child sex trafficking, was nine years into a thirty-year sentence. She was only 27.
With the support of KH paralegals Jennifer Brown and Dovie Madlock, Susan initially pursued a writ of habeas corpus. But on May 9, 2022, Governor Kemp signed into law Georgia Senate Bill 565. This bill amended O.C.G.A. § 17-10-21: Vacating a Sentence for Trafficking Victim Defendants. The new statutory language allowed for a defendant convicted of an offense as a direct result of being a victim of trafficking to petition the court to vacate the conviction at any time following conviction and sentencing for a felony offense. The K&H legal team used the new law to petition the South Georgia Judicial Circuit to vacate Tiffany’s convictions. On November 23, 2022, the day before Thanksgiving, Tiffany was released from prison.
Read the full story from the Washington Post here.