Bernstein Shur’s Chad Higgins Honored in Boston for Pro Bono Work Overturning Wrongful Conviction
On Friday, February 3, Bernstein Shur Shareholder Chad Higgins traveled to Roxbury, Massachusetts with his daughter, Molly, to celebrate the first Keyon Sprinkle Day. Keyon Sprinkle, a Roxbury native, was wrongly convicted of first-degree murder at the age of 17, and his quest to prove his innocence led him to a team working with the New England Innocence Project (NEIP), who successfully overturned Sprinkle’s conviction. February 3 has been officially named Keyon Sprinkle Day by The City of Boston in his honor.
In 1999 at the age of 17, Sprinkle was accused of first-degree murder and subsequently convicted and imprisoned. He spent years writing hundreds of letters to lawyers seeking representation, eventually finding support from NEIP.
NEIP fights to correct and prevent wrongful convictions and ensure justice within the criminal legal system for innocent people throughout New England who are imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. Higgins was part of the legal team that secured the release of Sprinkle, who ultimately spent 20 years behind bars. His wrongful murder conviction was finally thrown out in 2020 after the Court found the evidence credible that two other people—discovered through his counsels’ extensive investigation—were responsible for committing the murder for which Mr. Sprinkle was wrongfully convicted.
On Friday, Higgins received a Certificate of Recognition by Michelle Wu, Mayor of Boston, alongside the members of his pro bono legal team at the New England Innocence Project for pursuing the case for over a decade to secure Sprinkle’s freedom. Sprinkle and his family joined the celebration, gathering at newly named Keyon Sprinkle Square.
Based on Higgins’ work with NEIP, Bernstein Shur has partnered with NEIP to assist in other matters in Northern New England. Higgins remains dedicated to using the advantages that being a lawyer in the United States provides to assist those who have been wrongfully prosecuted and convicted.
“Assisting Keyon to correct this wrong is the most important thing I have done with my legal career,” said Higgins. “While Keyon has been released and returned to his family, there are countless others who deserve the same. My colleagues and I remain dedicated to helping them.”
Through their experience together, Sprinkle and Higgins have created an enduring friendship.