Being born in a negative context can often affect people’s lives, but despite adversity we all have the ability to change destiny. that happened to Jarrett Adams (42) who in 1998 was wrongfully accused of sexual abuse by who was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
What is striking is that Jarrett was imprisoned at just 17 years old. In the prison library, the young man found law books that helped him win his freedom a few years later, in 2007.
“Everyone has a constitutional right to an effective lawyer. So, my constitutional right has been violated to not have an effective defender,” Jarrett told al Cnn years after. Now she has received a lawyer and helps people with wrongful convictions. This is her story.
fighting against the current
Jarrett Adams was born in 1981 South of Chicago, United States. His father was in and out of prison and his mother battled drug addiction. Despite everything, Adams has always loved sports and was very intelligent at school, which he graduated in 1998 at just 17 years old. Thanks to his good grades, he was awarded a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
But everything would change after attending a university party together with 3 friends. Three weeks after the celebration, Jarrett found a note from a police officer on his doorstep. A girl at the party had accused Adams and his two friends of rape. Some days later, Jarrett and his friends were arrested for alleged sexual assault.
“We were totally innocent. That was an absolute and utter lie. I understood very quickly that it had nothing to do with the truth. We were all black and a white girl accused us of rape,” Adams said in an interview with Cnn years after.
Jarrett, despite being a minor, was tried as an adult in Wisconsin court. He was the only defendant who didn’t have the money to hire a defense attorney, and they had to assign one to him.
Finally, in 2002, Adams and one of the defendants (the other was acquitted) were sentenced to 20 years in maximum security prison, but the judge gave Adams an additional eight years because he refused to apologize.
A hope from the darkest place
After being depressed for 18 months, Jarrett became good friends with a cellmate. Without knowing it, that person would have been the key to his life. The inmate recommended that Adams go to the law library to find out why his own defense failed.
Once she found the right books, she learned that her public defender violated her rights by failing to locate and call a witness: “Everyone has a constitutional right to an effective defense attorney. So my constitutional right was violated to not have an effective defense attorney,” Jarrett said.
Finding the flaw, he took the trouble to write letters to many lawyers to obtain representation that would allow him to be free again.
Finally, in 2004, he received a response from a lawyer in Milwaukee. Over the course of six months, Adams worked with the practitioner to begin drafting a habeas petition, laying the groundwork for an argument that would ultimately succeed before the Court of Appeals.
In 2006, eight years after Jarrett’s arrest, his defense argued the case in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The court unanimously overturned Adams’ conviction. In February 2007, after eight years, finally It was released.
found a purpose
In May of that year, Adams began studying law at the University of Chicago AND in 2015 he officially obtained the diploma of lawyer: “I may have graduated from Loyola Law School in Chicago, but I started law school at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections,” Adams said.
Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Innocence Project to lead the defenses of wrongfully prosecuted black men. Blacks make up only 13% of the US population. United States of Americabut half of innocent people convicted of felonies and later cleared are black, according to a study released in 2017 for the National Exoneration Registry.
Adams was acquitted, but one of his co-defendants never had the charges dropped, while the third was never convicted. That is why the lawyer knows how important it is to deal with system failures urgently.
“I strongly believe that the problems with our criminal justice system will only get better as we infiltrate the system, which means more black judges, more black prosecutors, more black lawyers, more black youth, that’s what we need, and I hope that my story I came to that movement,” said Adams. Cnn.
One of the most popular cases that attorney Jarrett Adams took was that of Kevin Balley, who served nearly 30 years of an 80-year sentence for a murder in 1989 that he did not commit and thanks to the attorney was able to prove his innocence.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.