Doha, Qatar, December 3, 2014 – The California Innocence Project and The David House Agency are pleased to announce that Matthew and Grace Huang have boarded a flight from Doha bound for Los Angeles. The couple was wrongfully convicted of negligence by Qatari officials after the unexpected and tragic death of their daughter in 2013. On Sunday, a Qatari appeals court threw out the conviction and declared them innocent. The Qatari government continued to detain them against their will at the Doha airport despite the exoneration.
“I am thrilled to announce that the Huangs are leaving Qatar after having the travel ban lifted,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law in San Diego. “They are innocent, they have been proven innocent, and they will finally be reunited with their children.”
Brooks and California Innocence Project Associate Director Alex Simpson both travelled to Qatar, prepared witnesses, and participated in the trial. The California Innocence Project reviewed and committed to the case two years ago when they determined the evidence in the case clearly showed the Huangs were innocent.
On Sunday, a Qatari Judge overturned their conviction and ordered them freed. Appellate Judge Abdul Rahman al-Sharafi went through the case in great detail and discredited the prosecution’s case, citing much of the defense evidence overlooked at the trial level. Matthew and Grace left the courtroom and went straight to the airport to board a flight to the United States. Airport immigration officials did not allow them to travel and confiscated their passports. There, the couple waited with Eric Volz of the David House Agency as both governments met to determine whether the couple should be allowed to leave the country. Finally, today the travel ban was lifted.
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 2,000 claims from inmates each year and has earned the exoneration of 15 wrongfully convicted clients since its inception.
Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Secretary of State John Kerry Issues Statement on the Case of Matthew and Grace Huang; Travel Ban Lifted Effective December 3
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014
The Public Theater Extends Suzan-Lori Parks’s FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS through December 7
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Photos: Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Julia Alvarez, Jeffrey Katzenberg Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama
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Crafting a Career
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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