He spent a decade on death row. Finally, forty years later, he is fully exonerated.
John spent 32 years in the Maryland prison system, including 10 years on Death Row. Maintaining his innocence, he ultimately secured his release from prison in 2013 through a Writ of Actual Innocence.
The diligence of the law firm of Ropes & Gray and the investigative journalism of the Washington Post uncovered key evidence proven through DNA testing to be been unreliable. The case’s Prosecutor has since been disbarred for withholding this exculpatory evidence.
Currently, John is an internationally recognized motivational speaker. He is a trainer for statewide, mandated training programs in the Illinois Police Academies, presenting Wrongful Conviction Awareness and Avoidance classes. This training is the first of its kind for law enforcement in the United States. John also serves as a consultant in workforce development and criminal justice reform.
Previously, John served as the Vice President and COO of the Kinetic Capital Community Foundation. Before that, he served as the Director of Workforce Development for the Living Classrooms Foundation and was responsible for directing workforce development and job training efforts for the Re-entry Program, as well as the Target Investment Zone in East Baltimore. This program serves as a national model for breaking the cycle of poverty, unemployment, and incarceration by using a multi-generational approach to provide low-skilled, unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated workers with multiple pathways to gain family-supporting jobs and achieve financial stability.