Natlie Figgers had just graduated from the 149th ranked law school in the country called Shepard Broad in Davie FL. She was thrilled to be out and was also happy to be a few weeks away from delivering a baby. Natlie was surprised to be approached by friends of Thomas Raynard James hoping to get his 1991 murder conviction overturned. James needed a criminal lawyer and Figgers was practicing business and personal injury law. It turns out that every criminal lawyer in south Florida had turned it down. They said it was un-win-able. Miami has some of the top attorneys in the world and they said they couldn't win! How could a recent law school grad ...who doesn't practice criminal law... help a man that all the experts said was guilty?
She delivered the baby and then did a little digging into the case. It became obvious to her that James needed her help, so she decided to take on his case. Figgers began an intensive 18-month investigation that would change both their lives forever. Figgers logged thousands of hours running down witnesses and leads and pouring over documents from the 1990 murder. She discovered that police mistook James for another man with the same name and found evidence connecting that man with the murder. She also found witnesses who’d given false testimony and convinced them to come forward.
Figgers turned all the new-found evidence over to Miami’s Conviction Review Unit and while they considered James’ case, she piled on more evidence pointing to his innocence. Now, nearly 32 years after the murder James was accused of committing, a judge in Miami ruled that he had been wrongfully imprisoned and he was set free!