Finally Free After Nine Long Years in Prison, Stephanie
NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This week on the Wrongful Conviction podcast (a Lava for Good series), Jason Flom talks with Stephanie Spurgeon, the Florida woman who spent nine years in prison despite maintaining her innocence after being convicted of manslaughter in the death of 1-year-old Maria Harris.
Spurgeon was a married mother of two who had been running a daycare facility from her home for 15 years. On August 21, 2008, Stephanie took care of Maria for the first time. Maria’s grandmother picked her up that day, but soon noticed Maria was unresponsive. After eight days in the hospital, Maria passed away.
Because Spurgeon was the last supervisor of the child, she was accused of murder and convicted of manslaughter based on the prosecution’s argument of Abusive Head Trauma. After nine years in the Florida prison system, numerous Innocence Projects helped Spurgeon assert her innocence, and in 2021, she accepted an Alford Plea and was finally freed.
In Wrongful Conviction, Flom discusses the details of Spurgeon’s case (including Shaken Baby Syndrome — a junk science theory that was previously covered by attorney Josh Dubin in his podcast Wrongful Conviction: Junk Science). Flom also talks with Spurgeon about her time behind bars, her day-to-day routine during those nine years, her lowest points, and the high points that helped her survive until her release.
To listen to this episode and explore all the Lava for Good series, visit www.lavaforgood.com or find them on every major podcast platform.
About Wrongful Conviction
Hosted by Jason Flom, celebrated criminal justice reform advocate and founding board member of the Innocence Project, Wrongful Conviction features intimate conversations with men and women who have spent years in prison for crimes they maintain they did not commit. Some have been fully exonerated and reunited with family and friends, while others continue to languish — with some even facing execution on death row.
Each episode peels back the layers behind the stories of those who have found themselves caught in a legal system gone wrong, with illuminating insights from lawyers and leading experts sharing their in-depth knowledge about each case, from prison visits and courtroom battles to reexamined crime scenes and witness interviews. This gripping series reveals the tragedy of injustice…as well as the triumph that is possible when people step up and demand change.