School of Law News

Attorney Waters Inspires Students and Faculty

Posted Monday, April 14, 2014

Betty Anne Waters, a high school dropout turned lawyer, shared the inspiring story of her 18 year quest to free her brother from prison. The personal story of Waters’ struggle to exonerate her brother from a wrongful conviction for murder was captured in the major motion picture “Conviction” starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank. "My brother Kenny's wrongful conviction for murder drove me to go to college and then law school, just so I could save him. You'll never go wrong in life when you put someone else's needs before your own. That's why I love being a lawyer," explained Waters. This stirring presentation was sponsored by the Women’s Law Association of Western New England University School of Law.


In 1983, Waters’ brother Kenneth was sentenced to life without parole for a murder and robbery he insisted he did not commit. When his appeals failed and funds for lawyers dwindled, Waters decided to go to college and later law school to get the credentials necessary to prove what she always knew, Kenneth Waters was not guilty. With help from the Innocence Project, the DNA found at the scene was ultimately tested, and it proved that it was not Kenneth’s DNA. Years of hard work, persistence, and determination, fueled by an unbending belief in her brother’s innocence, ultimately lead to his exoneration in 2001. Today, Waters lives in New England and continues her work in freeing wrongfully convicted criminals, as well as fighting for the rights of prison inmates. (Photo L-R: Eric Gouvin, Dean, School of Law, Betty Anne Waters, Lenore Montanaro,


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