Eva Nagao 28, has been a member of the Exoneration Project legal team since 2009. After graduating from Guilford College in 2008, she began her career as a legal assistant for the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy where she focused on wrongful convictions and youth in trouble with the law. Eva has served on the board of several local non-profit organizations, including the Chicago Freedom School and Project Nia, and continues to work for criminal justice reform in the Chicago area. Acting as a liaison between attorneys, clients and the Chicago community of advocates, Eva supports campaigns pushing for a more fair and just legal system both in the city of Chicago and nationwide. Righting the wrongs of the criminal justice system is Eva’s greatest passion.
Ryan Ferguson was a junior in high school when his life changed forever. What would years later be revealed as a twisted tale of false confessions, lying witnesses, an incompetent defense attorney and horrific prosecutorial and police misconduct, Ryan was arrested, tried, convicted and sentence to 40 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Ryan never stopped fighting to prove his innocence. Six years into Ryan’s sentence, his father had collected enough evidence to clear Ryan’s name and reached out to a wrongful conviction attorney, who agreed to take on the case pro-bono. On November, 12, 2013, at age 29, after spending 10 years in prison, Ryan was finally released and exonerated. Now, with the knowledge, skills and resources he has acquired, he has teamed up with Eva Nagao to to help others like him, who may be sitting in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.