In 2016 at the Innocence Network Conference in San Antonio, I heard from Sunny Jacobs, who nearly lost her life on Florida’s death row, but remained hopeful by “turning my cell into a sanctuary”; Sylvia Barnes, who visited her son Steven in prison each weekend for 20 years until he finally made it back home for Thanksgiving dinner; and Eugene Vent (pictured below) of the Alaska “Fairbanks Four,” who as a teen falsely confessed to a murder he didn’t commit after hours of police interrogation.
I was disturbed by the horror these exonerees and their loved ones faced, angered at the system that failed them, and moved by their extraordinary resilience.
I know more must be done to combat the systemic flaws in the criminal justice system that cause wrongful incarceration.
I know more must be done to combat the systemic flaws in the criminal justice system that caused their wrongful incarceration.
I’m happy to share that the National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA) partnership with the Innocence Project and the larger Innocence Network of organizations around the world, will expand to include NBA Voices. NBA Voices is the NBA’s initiative to promote inclusion, uplift voices and bridge divides in our communities.
Our partnership will build greater understanding about issues related to wrongful conviction: innocent people forced to plead guilty, racial inequality, prosecutorial accountability, compensation for exonerated people and more.
We know NBA fans care about justice in their communities, and we’re grateful that NBA Voices and NBCA can bring our fans together with Innocence Project and Innocence Network supporters to work for change.
San Antonio Spurs