The Shame of Lorain: The Nancy Smith/Joseph Allen Wrongful Conviction….

Nancy Smith

I’ve decided to post some materials from the Nancy Smith/Joseph Allen case (also known as the Head Start case) here for those who watch Dateline NBC or Anderson Cooper, and then get on the computer and do some google searches to learn more about the case.

Here is where you can sign a letter to Governor Kasich asking him to pardon Nancy.

Here is the full Dateline episode on Nancy’s case

Here is an important article on the case, The Shame of Lorain, that was published in 2005…

Here is the new pardon application that the Ohio Innocence Project and NYC law firm Davis Polk filed with Ohio Gov. Kasich this past Friday…

Here is the Fight for Nancy Smith facebook page

Here is the parole letter that the OIP filed for Nancy in 2007, outlining the reasons why she is innocent

And here is a digital version of the art book, Illustrated Truth, with Nancy Smith’s story and her painting about freedom.  You can purchase this beautiful and moving book for $30 by emailing Jodi at

22 responses to “The Shame of Lorain: The Nancy Smith/Joseph Allen Wrongful Conviction….

  1. Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209

    Thanks for all the hard work you, Martin Yank, OIP, et al. have put into this struggle.

    ► A L L : Please do not hold your breath for waiting for me to drive ANY bus with kids, unless it has a surveillance camera w/sound running.

  2. How about the mothers who jumped on the bandwagon and were financially rewarded for removing Nancy Smiths’ freedom, all give her their idiot money of 1.5 million that they were given so that she can enjoy the rest of her life with her children and grandchildren.

    • Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209

      I support an absolute pardon with her right to be compensated by our Court of Claims .

  3. Pingback: Monday’s Quick Clicks… | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  4. This case was all about Money, and not Justice. Lorain
    should be ashamed for not doing a complete investigation. Had they done it, these people would have never been convicted. I no longer live in Lorain.

  5. All the facts in this case show Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen did not commit this crime. It was fueled by the greed of money by controlling parents who benefited financially. Two of the supposed child victims say nothing happened to them. Shame on Lorain for a botched investigative job. Shame on the Lorain County legal system for this miscarriage of justice. All involved are responsible for destroying two innocent lives and putting them both into a nightmare that’s not over. Sign the Ohio Innocence Project petition to Gov. Kasich to grant Nancy (and Joseph) clemency.

  6. This is the most awful story I have read. I cannot believe the injustice in the courts. How did any judge even entertain the charges from the first ! Was everyone there high ?

  7. I am so mad right now after reading all these things about this case.If it is true that it was all for money then i think the women who did this should be put in prison right NOW. What the hell is wrong with the justice system.These women should have to pay back all that money and go directly to jail for being HORRIBLE people,I for one would have to see all transcripts of trial to make final decision.

  8. I am also bothered by the report that states suggesting these things to children makes them unable to tell reality from fantasy. Does this mean these poor children now have a false memory of something horrible that never even happened to them? All for financial gain? These parents make me sick.

  9. This is outrageous!!! I believe that the people that failed to do their jobs…prosecutors, city and county police, lawyers for the so called victims and the judge himself should be held accountable for this injustice!!!!!

    AS A RESIDENT OF THE STATE OF OHIO I demand justice for Nancy, Joseph and their family!!! Anything less than a FULL PARDON WITH DECLARATION OF INNOCENCE AS WELL AS COMPENSATION would be further gross-neglect of duty by GOV. KASICH!!!!!

  10. I hope Nancy gets to stay out of jail and I hope she SUE’S big time for the years she lost.

  11. Katie Johnsonius

    The story is horrifying all right, though not more so than many others, including innocent men being put to death. But reading up on the case, as a retired attorney, I kept wondering who represented Nancy Smith, and whether that person is still practicing law?? Astonishingly inadequate representation!

  12. As a former public schoolteacher, Head Start teacher, supervisor of a therapeutic child care program, Social Worker III for the State of WA, and holder of a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education, I am appalled to read this story.

    Nancy Smith, based on the Head Start records alone is innocent!
    The prosecutor, the parents of the children and the” justice” system in this town are seriously flawed. Where was Child Protective Services in all this? To repeatedly interview the children was abusive to them! To have children involved in the prosecution who didn’t even ride Smith’s bus is nonsensical.

    There are so many flaws in the logic here it is agonizing!

    Get Nancy Smith out of jail and Joseph Allen as well! Compensate them for their lost time as best as can be done! Prosecute the parents who perjured themselves and the prosecutor and do some justice here!

  13. Linda Habecker

    I support a complete PARDON in this case. Shame on the prosecutors that did not try this case properly. And the Defense, not calling the other 2 bus aids. This is shameful.This lady needs to go home NOW!

  14. Pingback: Meet Nancy Smith’s Equally Innocent Co-Defendant: Joseph Allen | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  15. well this is a 100% proof that the system is 100% wrong
    Nancy MUST be compensate , for the wrong the system had done to her , this is a proof that the system better listen to drugs addicted than to honest people

  16. I find this case so distressing to think what that poor woman Nancy has lost in her life ,im no lawyer but even i could see all the errors in this case ,which should never of gone to trial .Shame on all of you who have done Nany and Joseph wrong .Money Talks ……..

  17. Pingback: The Shame of Lorain – Redux | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  18. Why isnt there an investigative team on this case or a press conference. Or another show about this case? Theres no way these allegations could be true. It sounds like the kids were coached by their parents to pull off this hoax to get $ by lawsuit.

  19. I am Joseph’s niece and I still can not believe this nightmare is still going on. With SO much evidence providing these two are innocent, I am very ashamed of our local police department. This is sad, sad, sad! I thought it was over when they were released, but still…justice has NOT been served. But having faith in God, I know that the truth WILL come out.

  20. In my opinion if this is all proved out, the judge, prosecutor, and the people who brought the false charges for profit all need to spend major time. However they are entitled to a fair trial for there crimes. It is too bad that these people were denied the same rights. Just out of curiosity was it an election year?

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