Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Nancy Louise Botts





2 to 14 years

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Summary of Case:

"Nancy Louise Botts was wrongly convicted of forgery in November 1934 by the erroneous eyewitness testimony of seven merchants in Kokomo, Indiana that Botts was the woman who had victimized each of them with a bad check. Botts was a pregnant housewife who claimed she had never been in Kokomo, and her alibi defense was based on three neighbors who testified they saw her at home in her apartment in Brazil -- 114 miles from Kokomo -- on the days of the alleged crimes, and her insurance agent testified that on one of the days he was at her apartment collecting a premium from her. After Botts was convicted by a jury the judge sentenced her to 2 to 14 years in prison. The stress of the prosecution caused the 29-year-old Botts to have a miscarriage. After more than two years in prison police caught the actual check forgerer in the act of passing a bad check, and she confessed to the crimes Botts had been wrongly convicted of committing. Based on the new evidence of her innocence Nancy Botts was unconditionally pardoned by Indiana Governor Paul McNutt on December 16, 1936. On March 9, 1939 the Indiana legislature awarded Botts $4,000 in compensation for her two years and one month of wrongful imprisonment."

Conviction Caused By:

"Erroneous eyewitness testimony of seven merchants, all reputable people."

Innocence Proved By:

Capture of actual forgerer. Indiana Governor Paul McNutt pardoned her in Dec. 1936.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

"$4,000 (State of Indiana, 1939)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"''Not Guilty," By Judge Jerome Frank and Barbara Frank, Doubleday, NY, 1957, pgs. 70-73."

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Information Source 2:

"The Innocents, Edward Radin,William Morrow & Co., 1964, p. 256."

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Book About Case:

"''Not Guilty," By Judge Jerome Frank and Barbara Frank, Doubleday, NY, 1957, Chapter 3"

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Comments About Case:

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