Sarah Gad is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit:
As a former opioid addict who was repeatedly convicted of drug-related offenses, she not only dramatically transformed her life
But she became an Ivy League-educated attorney who recently succeeded in exonerating an innocent man accused of murder.
Sarah’s tumultuous journey took her from seven drug-related convictions to multiple incarcerations in Pennsylvania
and in Hennepin County to a harrowing 27-day ordeal in Cook County Jail during a trip to Chicago.
He endured physical and emotional trauma, including beatings, stabbings, rape, and solitary confinement. It was during this dark time
that her family’s efforts caught the attention of Kathleen Zellner, a renowned attorney best known for her work on the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.”
Zellner offered Sarah a lifeline by inviting her to work at her law firm. This opportunity changed the course of Sarah’s life.
As she witnessed the profound impact of exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals, she was inspired to pursue a career in the legal field.
She was admitted to the University of Chicago Law School,
despite the possibility of incarceration due to mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders.
In 2020, Sarah not only graduated from law school but also obtained her license as an attorney in August 2022.
“All she needed was a second chance”: The redemption story of an opioid addict
Her journey culminated when she won her first murder case, securing the freedom of her client, Ben Richardson.
In an extraordinary twist of fate, she met Judge Barnett,
who had advocated for her own drug-related convictions and proudly shared her transformation from defendant to defender of the legally oppressed.
Kathleen Zellner recognized Sarah’s immense potential and commitment to justice, celebrated her extraordinary journey, and emphasized the transformative power of second chances.
Sarah Gad’s story is a testament to the indomitable spirit of resilience and redemption.