Innocence & Justice Clinic co-sponsors ‘Last Chance for Justice’ author T.K. Thorne on Monday, Nov. 3

Author T.K. Thorne will discuss her book, “Last Chance for Justice: How Relentless Investigators Uncovered Evidence Convicting the Birmingham Church Bombers,” at noon on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312.

The event is co-sponsored by Wake Forest Law’s Innocence and Justice Clinic and the Wake Forest Pro Humanitate Institute.

In September 1963, a bomb exploded outside the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four young girls.The FBI secretly reopened the investigation 37 years later, but with little hope of convicting the rest of those responsible.

“Last Chance for Justice” is the inside story of that investigation told from the perspective of police detective Ben Herren and FBI Special Agent Bill Fleming. The two analyzed thousands of FBI documents on the bombing and Ku Klux Klan before conducting their first interview- an interview that would break the case, according to

“This presentation about bringing resolution to the Birmingham Church Bombing is significant historically, and inspiring to future lawyers who will seek justice,” says Professor Mark Rabil, director of Innocence and Justice Clinic. “The difficulties of the fallibility of memory, the problems of bias, and the need to separate stories from history are the same.”

Thorne retired as a captain of the Birmingham Police Department and currently directs a business improvement district in downtown Birmingham. Both careers provided fodder for her writing, which has garnered several awards, including ForeWord Reviews’ “Book of the Year for Historical Fiction” for her debut novel, “Noah’s Wife.”  The New York Post featured her non-fiction book, “Last Chance for Justice: How Relentless Investigators Uncovered New Evidence Convicting the Birmingham Church Bombers,” on their “Books You Should Be Reading” list. Her latest historical novel is “Angels at the Gate.” She speaks on life lessons, writing and her books.

Wake Forest’s new Pro Humanitate Institute will be a central place to organize and share ideas that will help improve how the University interacts with the world.

“The Institute will energize and expand on a host of relevant activities already underway, while inspiring new ideas for connecting a Wake Forest education with a deep and abiding commitment to improving lives by engaging our campus and surrounding communities in vital ways,” said Provost Rogan Kersh in an announcement in July 2014.

Read more about the Institute here.

The Wake Forest Law I & J Clinic provides students with the unique opportunity to learn about the various causes of wrongful convictions – mistaken eyewitness identification, invalid or improper forensic science evidence, jailhouse informants, false confessions, ineffective assistance of counsel, police and prosecutorial misconduct – while giving them the opportunity to apply this knowledge to the investigation of cases where newly discovered evidence can prove a client’s innocence.

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