The Fairbanks 4: Lessons Learned from Alaska's First Exoneration

by Melissa Green  |   

The Alaska Innocence Project and the Office of Public Advocacy spearheaded the effort to exonerate the Fairbanks Four — four men convicted in 1999 of the 1997 beating death of a Fairbanks youth. Evidence that another group of men may have been reponsible for the murder led in December 2015 to a settlement with the State of Alaska erasing their convictions and their release from imprisonment. This panel discussion of the exoneration featured two of the lawyers involved in the case, as well as a forensic scientist who provided expert testimony. See photos of the event at the UAA Justice Center blog.

"The Fairbanks 4: Lessons Learned from Alaska's First Exoneration" was held March 9, 2016 at the UAA/APU Consortium Library on the campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage. The event was sponsored by the UAA Justice Center, the UAA Pre-Law Society, the UAA Justice Club,and the Alaska Innocence Project as part of National Criminal Justice Month, established by Congress in 2009 to promote societal awareness regarding the causes and consequences of crime, as well as strategies for preventing and responding to crime.


  • Bill Oberly, Executive Director, Alaska Innocence Project
  • Rick Allen, Director, Office of Public Advocacy
  • Lesley Hammer, Forensic Scientist, Hammer Forensics
  • Dr. Troy Payne, Justice Center, moderator



"The Fairbanks 4: Lessons Learned from Alaska's First Exoneration" (streaming video; 1 hour 30 minutes). Video production and editing by Eric Baldwin, Media Technician, UAA Academic Innovations & ELearning.