As executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University’s law school, Rob Warden is an expert on miscarriages of justice. So it’s natural that he would be drawn to the tale of Stephen and Jesse Boorn.

The two young Vermont farmers were falsely convicted of murdering their ne’er-do-well brother-in-law, and even though it happened in 1819, it’s precisely the sort of case the center handles. Since its founding in 1999, the center has been involved in 11 of Illinois’ 18 recent Death Row exonerations and about a dozen exonerations on non-capital convictions.