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Update - 10/23/14

Marsha Byers Mills has been in prison for almost 7 ½ years wrongfully convicted of a crime -- murder -- that never happened. On March 10, 2006, Noah Shoup, a 2-year-old in her care, fell down steps of her back porch in New Philadelphia, Oh., and died the following day.

A large group of supporters continue to seek her freedom through the courts and by any means possible, and have the support of many groups and individuals who do not know her but also believe in her innocence. The Ohio Supreme Court, in a 3-2 vote, declined to consider her case though at least two justices believed in its validity. In 2013, after a three-year wait, a federal judge in Akron also turned down her request for habeas. Her attorney has submitted a request for further consideration by a three-judge panel of the federal court, but that is pending.

Mills, who was watching her own two young grandchildren and Noah's brother, was originally represented by a public defender who did little to preserve her rights or set the record straight, allowing allegations and theories by the prosecutors and their "expert" witnesses to prevail while her own expert witness, Dr. John Plunkett, was prevented from testifying about his research related to short falls and deaths.

Since her conviction, there has been much scientific research and data to challenge the theory of Shaken Baby Syndrome, and doctors who originally supported this, including Dr. Patrick Barnes who testified for the prosecution in the British nanny's case in Boston in 1997, have reconsidered their stances. Barnes now says in retrospect he doesn't believe shaking was involved in that infant's death.

More and more cases of SBS convictions are being reversed. A number of cases involving testimony of Dr. Daryl Steiner of Akron, who testified in Mills' trial, have been disproved and the alleged "abusers" have been cleared. In December 2013, Northwestern University's Medill Justice Project released its national survey that showed that Summit County (Akron, home of Akron Children's Hospital and Dr. Steiner), ranks fourth in the nation in the number of SBS cases. Remember, Steiner was found to be in error in a number of cases. In many cases, the trauma and havoc on the parents, families and friends involved has been extensive. For poor families, it may mean losing a child or children forever to social services.

In the meantime, Marsha Mills remains incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, and during that time her father has died as well as other relatives and friends. Some of those friends were supporters whom she'd never met, but wrote her faithfully to encourage her, have also died.

Her deep faith, work ethic and appreciation for her family, friends and supporters have allowed her to become a notable mentor to a number of troubled inmates, and she is respected by inmates and staff alike.

But she is innocent, and it is past time for her to come home.