2015, Podcasts

Undisclosed (2015)

Undisclosed ended in March. I found out more recently because I’m perpetually behind in my podcast listening. It’s kind of hard to sum up this podcast, because there are so many cases and I cannot remember all of them over the last seven years, but I wanted to mention something about them for the simple reason that I’m not sure how many other podcasts have had such a positive impact in the world.

The Undisclosed team have covered 70 cases, a majority of those cases have seen the convicted person receive some kind of “post conviction relief” (as they call it down there) and 11 are free. This page lists the numbers as 24 cases, 14 with relief, 10 freed, but I know the numbers are higher and this page hasn’t been updated recently enough. (In their final episode they say the actual numbers as of March 2022.) Update: the numbers are:

Relief granted: 17 cases: 13 exonerations: (1) Shaurn Thomas; (2) Terrance Lewis; (3) Willie Veasy; (4) Chester Hollman III; (5) Charles Ray Finch; (6) Theophalis Wilson; (7) Jonathan Irons; (8) Dennis Perry; (9) Ronnie Long; (10) Joseph Webster; (11) Darrell Ewing; (12) Joey Watkins; and (13) Adnan Syed. 2 stays of execution: (1) Marcellus Williams; and (2) William Montgomery. 1 commutation: Cyntoia Brown. 1 grant of parole: Cyrus Wilson. Currently pending: 6 cases. (1) Pedro Reynoso’s CIU petition; (2) Fred Freeman/Temujin Kensu’s CIU petition; (3) John Brookins’s DNA petition; (4) Jeff Titus’s CIU petition; (5) Pam Lanier’s motion for a new trial; and (6) Wayne Braddy and Karl Willis’s motion for a new trial. New appeals expected soon: 3 cases: (1) Jamar Huggins; (2) Greg Lance; and (3) Jason Carroll. Options being explored: 1 case: Rocky Myers.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2022/09/undisclosed-mega-update-thread-10.html

I have always found the show compelling. I understand it’s far too in the weeds for most people, but I really like it. Few programs have made me this outraged about actual injustices in the world.

But how I feel about it doesn’t really matter because they have done something seemingly miraculous: they have helped free 11 wrongfully convicted people, have helped at least another 4 get some kind of freedom, and there are others who might be free but COVID got in the way.

It’s a success rate that is stunning.

And it’s inspiring. Here are three people who listened to a show, decided they could do a better job, and though they never freed the main character of that show, they’ve managed to free 11 wrongfully convicted people. All through their own determination (and, through fan support, the support of a team of people they could employ). I am in awe of their work. If I was a political figure in one of the concerned states, I would give them awards.

I’m sad it’s over but I’m so happy it’s been a success.

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