Meet the Real-Life Heroine of Conviction

Betty Anne Waters went to law school just to save wrongly-convicted brother
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2010 12:41 PM CDT

Betty Anne Waters is about to be one of the most famous lawyers in America thanks to Conviction, the new movie about her quest to free her wrongly convicted brother, Kenny. But she doesn’t have a law practice. Instead, she runs a pub. “She did not become a lawyer to be a lawyer,” explains another lawyer who helped on her lone case. “She became a lawyer to get her brother out of jail.” Since freeing Kenny, Waters has only been in court once—to renew the bar’s liquor license.

So it’s in that aforementioned pub that the New York Times interviews a decidedly reluctant Waters. “I’m not going to say this is fun for me,” she says. “I’m tired right now. I could never keep this up.” Waters had only a GED when Kenny went to prison, but worked her way through law school—while raising two kids alone—to free him. You’ll see that in the movie. What you won’t see: Kenny died in a weird accident six months later. But Waters isn’t sorry she devoted 18 years to freeing him. “Kenny had the best six months of his life,” she says. (More Betty Ann Waters stories.)

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