Earlier this week, death row exonerees shared their stories with attorneys and law enforcement in Eagle County and Summit County. This was part of an Accuracy & Justice workshop designed to educate prosecutors and law enforcement about the causes of wrongful conviction and methods to use to prevent future wrongful convictions.
Those in attendance were moved by the experiences of Kwame Ajamu, Sabrina Butler-Smith, and Gary Drinkard. Eagle County Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum shared her anger that Butler-Smith had been questioned as a minor without a parent or guardian present. She explained that this misconduct would never happen in her district.
Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott, who was also in attendance at the workshop, was saddened to hear about the misconduct of law enforcement involved in the stories of the exonerees. However, he felt pride when he realized that his police department was already practicing many of the best methods to prevent future wrongful convictions that were explained during the panel.
To read more about the workshops in Eagle County:
Exonerated from death row, panelists address legal professionals in Eagle County
Free at last: Death row exonerees share their stories with Vail Valley audience
Life after death row: Witness to Innocence group brings former prisoners to Eagle County
To listen to a radio broadcast about the event:
21,000 lost years: Former death row inmates speak in Breckenridge
To read about their workshop at Colorado Mountain College:
Death row exonerees speak out at Breckenridge panel
To learn more about the Accuracy & Justice program or to schedule a workshop:
Accuracy & Justice