An Elkhart woman who spent years in prison wrongly convicted of murder hopes her story will teach others about the importance of thorough, accurate criminal investigations.
Lana Canen says the system failed her and she hopes it'll never happen again.
A classroom at the University of Notre Dame is a very different place from where she was just about a year ago.
“I told them that they had the wrong person and one of these days God was going to show them the truth that I wasn’t the person that did this,” Canen said to a class studying biometrics , unique human traits which help confirm a person's identity.
Canen spent eight years in prison for killing a blind 94-year-old Elkhart woman. Problem was, the key evidence, fingerprints found at the crime scene, were not Canen's.
A detective admitted the mistake and Canen walked free. She's been out almost a year now, and the students thought they could learn something from her.
“Even though what they may be doing is on a computer screen or on a machine, there is still a human being behind that, so their actions have definite consequences,” said Cara Wieneke, Canen’s attorney.
Biometrics can be a highly technical topic, but as Canen and her legal team confirmed, it doesn't always lead to simple answers.
“Mistakes happen. I’m sorry it happened for me and I pray it don't happen to anybody else,” said Canen.
Canen and her attorney are now considering a civil rights lawsuit.
She says she's never been compensated for a mistake that took eight years of her life.