"20/20" SPEAKS TO YOUNG WOMAN AFTER GETTING OUT OF PRISON FOR ALLEGEDLY MURDERING HER MOTHER IN EXCLUSIVE NETWORK INTERVIEW
"20/20" Airs Friday, March 24 on ABC
Did a Memphis teen murder her mother or was she falsely accused? Daughters killing their mothers account for less than 1% of all homicides, but that is what prosecutors claim took place when Jennifer Jackson was stabbed to death in her own home. 11 years after being sent to prison for her mother's murder, Noura Jackson is now free. In an exclusive post-prison network interview, Noura - who maintains her innocence - tells ABC News' John Quinones about finding her mother's body, her trial and life now. The report features interviews with Ansley Larsson, a family friend and one of the few who stood by her side; Valerie Corder, Noura's lawyer; and Judge Christopher Craft, who presided over Noura's trial. Quinones also confronts Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, who prosecuted the case, about the constitutional errors made at trial that led to Noura's original conviction being vacated and a new trial ordered. "20/20" airs on FRIDAY, MARCH 24 (10:01-11:00 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Authorities suspected Noura early on in the investigation of her mother's murder: prosecutors say she had a tumultuous relationship with her mother and a suspicious wound on the back of her hand after the murder, her cell phone - usually in constant use - had gone dead during a portion of what's believed to be the murder timeframe, and she had a shaky alibi. Witnesses for the prosecution, including Noura's former friends, testified that she was an out-of-control party girl and that her mother was trying to be stricter with her, which prosecutors claim was the motive for murder. Even Noura's own family turned against her during the trial- her aunts and uncle testified for the prosecution, with her uncle telling the jury that he had heard Noura question her mother about her finances shortly before the murder. Prosecutors believed they had a solid case; jurors found Noura guilty of second degree murder. But just five days after the verdict, the prosecution came forward with exculpatory evidence that had been withheld from the defense. Noura's attorney also objected to the lead prosecutor's behavior during closing arguments that the defense said violated Noura's constitutional right to Due Process. As a result, the Tennessee Supreme court vacated Noura's conviction. Instead of a new trial, she eventually accepted an Alford plea, allowing her to maintain her innocence but taking the punishment associated with voluntary manslaughter, and is now free. This week, now-District Attorney Weirich accepted a private reprimand in her prosecution of Noura, admitting an attorney error occurred, but disciplinary charges have been dropped.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.