He was wrongfully imprisoned for 8 years, now he’s a defense lawyer

CNN reports…

Learn more about Jarrett Adams, including his life after being exonerated, in the latest episode of Great Big Story, a new podcast by CNN about the surprising stories all around us.

(CNN)Jarrett Adams is a criminal defense lawyer who has dedicated his career to bringing justice to those who are underserved. But his first and most profound experience with the law came with trying to prove his own innocence after being wrongfully imprisoned for nearly a decade.

One summer party would change the course of his life

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Adams graduated high school in 1998 at the age of 17. One night that summer, Adams snuck out with two friends to go to a party at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. That night would change the course of his life.
Three weeks after the party, Adams found a business card from a police officer lodged in his front door. A girl at the party had accused Adams and his two friends of rape. Despite a witness statement that contradicted the accuser’s story, Adams and his friends were arrested and charged with sexual assault.
“We were totally innocent. That was an absolute and total lie,” says Adams. “I realized very quickly early on it had nothing to do with the truth, it was about race. It was about who was accusing me and how the accused looked. We were all Black and we were accused by a White girl of rape, so no matter what we said we were never going to be believed. Never.”

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