Amplified Voices

Cierra Cobb: On A Mission for Justice Season 4 - Episode 6

September 30, 2023 Amber & Jason - Criminal Legal Reform Advocates with Lived Experience Season 4 Episode 6
Amplified Voices
Cierra Cobb: On A Mission for Justice Season 4 - Episode 6
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode of Amplified Voices, Amber & Jason talk with Cierra Cobb, a paralegal, activist, and advocate for incarcerated people and their families. From her heart of resilience and strength, Cierra takes us on a poignant journey of survival and action.

In a world grappling with a global pandemic, Cierra reconnects and marries Jeffrey, an old friend who has been falsely convicted of a crime and incarcerated.  Jeffrey’s troubling capital case, paired with the lack of a substantial defense strategy from his legal representation, sheds light on the imbalance, injustice, and bureaucracy within the American criminal legal system. His story illustrates the gravity of plea bargaining and the oft-ignored challenges posed by both systemic racism and the underfunding of public defense offices.

Learn about her work as an advocate and prison jail coordinator with Emancipate NC and her podcast, The Blacklight Mass Incarceration Show. Cierra's story is a rallying call to all - to remain steadfast, champion what you believe in, and never yield in the face of adversity. 

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Intro :

Everyone has a voice, a story to tell. Some are marginalized and muted. What if there were a way to amplify those stories, to have conversations with real people in real communities, a way to help them step into the power of their lived experience? Welcome to Amplified Voices, a podcast lifting the experiences of people and families impacted by the criminal legal system. Together, we can create positive change for everyone.

Jason:

Hello and welcome to another episode of Amplified Voices. I'm your host, jason, here with my co-host, amber. Good morning, amber.

Amber:

Good morning Jason.

Jason:

And today we have Cierra, Hi Cierra.

Cierra:

Hi, good morning Amber and Jason.

Jason:

And Sierra. We're going to start with the question we've been asking all our guests, and that is could you tell us a little bit about your life before you entered the criminal legal system and what brought you into it?

Cierra:

So I started young. I had kids. I had my first son at the age of 16. I went through a lot of domestic violence, abuse, child abuse. My mom's husband used to beat us and she really didn't I don't know if she knew or she was just in denial and so that kind of started my adventures with, I guess, abuse and it kind of continued on throughout my life. So I had my first son at 16.

Jason:

So where did you grow up?

Cierra:

I grew up in North Carolina, in Greensboro, north Carolina.

Jason:

In North Carolina. So you were there and you said your mother's husband, and so how old were you when he entered the picture?

Cierra:

Three. I was three and my brothers were, I think, 10 and 15 at the time when she met him.

Jason:

Three, 10 and 15. And you said two brothers, you're the baby right and you're the only girl. The only girl. What was that like at three years old, being the only girl with two older brothers?

Cierra:

I loved it. I mean, I was the girl, so the younger girl, the only girl, so they watched after me and kind of took me under their wing a lot, because our fathers wasn't around. So it was great having brothers.

Amber:

OK, so I never had a brother. I always wished I had.

Cierra:

See.

Amber:

I was opposite.

Cierra:

I wish I had a sister and I had brothers.

Amber:

Yeah, you know, the grass is always greener.

Jason:

So this guy, he comes into the picture when you're three, so you really don't remember before him, no, and it was OK. And then so, growing up, you're three, then you're going into the school system and there was abuse going on this whole time.

Cierra:

Yeah, and so we actually had to move because we lived in Greensboro and when she met him he had his own house. So she moved to a small town called Reefle. So we had to pick up everything and move to a whole different county and district and start a different school. And in Reefle it's a real rural area. So we went to a school that was up the street and the school that my brothers and them went to. We were really segregated back then, so one school was for majority white and then the other school was for majority black and they finally eventually rezoned it and kind of switched up the district so they could kind of intermingle the cultures together. But it was a different change. Being in going from a city, a big city like Greensboro, to a rural county like Rockingham County. It was a lot, it was different.

Amber:

So what happens?

Cierra:

next. So I grow up and I go to the predominantly white school and I can't say that I never faced any blatant racism. That was just blatantly in my face. A lot of my friends were white, so I really, in my opinion, didn't face any racism and so I went to school. I wasn't really a school person, to be honest. I didn't like school, so I skipped school a lot.

Cierra:

I started high school and I was like, mom, I don't want to go to this high school. I don't know what it was about Rockingham County schools. I didn't like their school system period, so she took me out and then she home schooled me for a while and then I just still wasn't. School was just not my thing. And so I ended up getting pregnant at 15 and had my first son and I started working. I had my first job at CVS and so after that I became an adult. I moved out with my kid's father and started working and just being an adult, and so after that I had my next son. I got pregnant at 17. And that was unexpected. I wasn't really planning on having another child that early, that quick, because I was already young.

Jason:

So now you've got the two children and you're with the father of the children, ok, ok.

Cierra:

So I moved out with him. We moved to a city called Cernsville, which is not too far from Winston-Salem, which is another big city, and domestic violence continued there with him, and so I went back and forth between his house and my mom's house for a while. I guess it was just because I didn't want to you know, I was 18 at that time by that time and I didn't want to go. I didn't want to be with my mom or be at her house, because me and our husband didn't get along. You know, due to what I experienced with him, Wow.

Jason:

So you've got to make a. I mean, at this point, you've got two kids, you've got a stepfather who's abusive and you're with a man who's abusive, and so you're where's? There's no safe place for you.

Cierra:

There was no safe place for me at all. I mean by the time I had 18, the abuse of my mom's husband stopped. That stopped maybe when I got about nine or 10, when I got old enough to start defending myself. That's when that stopped. But then it's like I kind of went back into it with my kids. Father.

Jason:

I'm sorry to hear that.

Amber:

So the idea that I mean what I just heard you say was I had to start defending myself at nine years old. And I mean right right, but like I finally was able to defend myself at nine years old and you know when I think about you know I have a 10 year old son right now and I just that, that feels heartbreaking and so I'm really sorry you experienced that.

Cierra:

Yeah, it was hard, and so I was working as an adult, going between my mom's house and then his house, and then eventually I was able to get my own apartment. I got my own apartment and I didn't stay there alone because I didn't like I guess I didn't like being by myself. So I really didn't stay in that apartment long. So I was still in between his house and mine and my mom's house and then I moved to a different apartment in the same city as my mom.

Jason:

Well, I mean, face it, raising kids is hard.

Cierra:

Especially not, that's good.

Jason:

And doing it alone is super hard. So, yeah, got it. Ok, yep. So what did you do?

Cierra:

So then after that I met a guy. I wasn't with my baby's father anymore, but I met a guy and he had just got out of prison, like literally just got out of prison. I actually met him in the same complex that my kid's father stayed in and he just got out of prison from doing like a five year bid for a common law robbery of a doctor from Baptist that's one of our major, major hospitals in Winston. He had robbed the doctor and they gave him a common law robbery since they didn't find any weapons. And so we got together and we were together for about four years and he was in and out of the court system. He didn't go back to prison until after we had broke up, but he was in and out of the court system.

Cierra:

I didn't experience any abuse in that relationship. But there was one time where we got into it. He threw me down the steps and I just thought I just knew I was dead. I just knew it because I was blacking out, like going in and out of consciousness, and I had busted my head open and so my mom had came and took me to the hospital. Force police were called and I didn't press any charges because I just court system has never been an answer to me. So I didn't press any charges.

Cierra:

I went down to the magistrate's office and talked to the magistrate's and they ended up letting him go and dismissing the charges. And so I was with him for a while and he just couldn't get himself together. I guess just what he had been through in his lifetime His mom was on drugs, pretty bad, and so he had to be a parent at a young age and so I guess he just couldn't get over that trauma, you know, just being traumatized by his mom being on drugs, really bad and she was still on drugs when we had got together and we were in our I think I was like 24 by then and he was a year older than me, so we just couldn't get it together. So I ended up believing him and then finally getting my high school diploma, because I didn't finish high school. So I finally got my high school diploma at like 25 and then started college.

Jason:

Congratulations.

Cierra:

Thank you to kind of better for my kids. All right, you know a better life, so 25, you're back.

Jason:

you're back or you finished. You finished high school, which is not easy to be a parent of two kids supporting them and also going to school, so that's a huge accomplishment. And then you decide I'm going to keep going, I'm going to go to college, which is huge. Like, how are you making ends meet as working, going to school and making sure there's food on the table for these two children?

Cierra:

Well, I was working. I had quite a few jobs. I worked as a pharmacy tech at a place called Ride Aid for a while, so that was pretty good money. But I had to go to college because I experienced homelessness a few times, lights being cut off when I was with my kids father and with that last guy I was talking about, we experienced homelessness. I mean, the kids wasn't, they were with their grandmother, they wasn't with us. But just experiencing that I was like, oh no, I can't. You know, I can't go through that and let alone bring up two boys in that situation. So after I lost everything because I literally lost everything behind this guy, like house, car, job, I mean like I had to start from zero and start my way back up. And that is what gave me the strength to be like OK, I need to go back and get my high school diploma, I need to go get a college education because I don't want to struggle, I don't want my kids to struggle. So that's what pushed me to go do that.

Jason:

Fantastic, so so, but you were able to do it. And how long did it take to get the college degree?

Cierra:

So it took me about six years to get it all together.

Jason:

I mean, that's given that you're working and raising kids. Six years is actually fast.

Amber:

Yeah, that's really good. And so in your family was there a history of education being important, or no, my mom didn't finish school.

Cierra:

My father went to. I think he did like one year at Moorehouse College. I actually went to school for medical office administration. I wanted to do the billing and coding from home because I mean you make good money and you don't have to work around people. So I went for that and then in between time, and that's not easy.

Jason:

I mean medical coding stuff is not easy, Definitely not easy.

Cierra:

Medical office administration is really not easy, because that means you're actually going to be running a whole medical office or hospital or something of that nature.

Amber:

Yeah, that's what my sister does. It's not, it's not easy at all.

Cierra:

So in between time I actually had my last son and, just FYI, I have two sons with autism. My oldest one is autistic and then my youngest one is autistic and it runs in my family. I have a brother that's autistic and two nephews, so it actually runs in our family. So I had my last one while I was still in school. So I was pregnant and going to school and having birth in the middle of a semester of I think it was maybe my last semester of medical office administration and I had my first Like right in the exam, like you're taking the exam and you go into labor.

Jason:

Yeah, oh, my goodness.

Cierra:

And then I was in the hospital for another three weeks because I had complications and then he had John's really bad case of John is so he was in the hospital for like three or four weeks after I had him. So that was a lot trying to do school and a hospital bed on the laptop. And you know, at that time they changed the whole birth in thing where the baby had to be in the room 24 hours. Right, you had to do the whole skin to skin thing and breastfeeding. So it was a lot emotionally, mentally and physically, but I got through it.

Amber:

It sounds like you were pretty determined yeah.

Cierra:

I was, I mean, I guess, just by everything that I have been through in my life, I just didn't want to. You know, I wanted to be different. I didn't want to just go down the wrong road, I guess because I had kids, young, and they depended. I mean, I was their provider and they depended on me, so I had to be a good role model for them.

Jason:

Good, so you get your. Did you eventually get the degree?

Cierra:

Mm-hmm, I got it, yep.

Jason:

And then yeah.

Cierra:

I met. I was with my kid, my youngest kid's father, and so we ended up having a. We got married and we ended up having an abusive relationship as well. But I was with him for six years and we finally split because I just couldn't take that anymore. It was just too long of you know being abused, and so I left him. And how I got in the criminal justice system was I reconnected with my husband I'm currently with now, who's currently incarcerated. We knew each other at a very, very young age, about 14. We knew each other and dated for a while.

Jason:

So 14, so okay, you met. Is your husband? Is your husband black Mm-hmm? Did you meet him in the white school?

Cierra:

No, actually met him on a website called Black Planet back then. I don't know if you ever just kind of like MySpace or something like that. That's how I met him.

Jason:

No, tell us about Black Planet.

Amber:

I don't think I've ever heard of this. You haven't.

Cierra:

No, black Planet was a social media space for, I guess, people of color, and so that's how we met. Like I had a page. It's kind of like it reminds you of MySpace is what I would say it was.

Amber:

So you were pioneers, because that's what everybody does now. Yeah, right, so you were pioneers in the dating space.

Cierra:

Yeah, and so we met on the internet and he lived in. He was in Greensboro at that time and I was in Reedsville, but I had brothers that were cool so they would go take me to see him. Nice, they were older and so, yeah, we dated for a while and he ended up the foster mom that he was with ended up getting really sick where she couldn't take care of him no more. So at that time I don't think he knew he was adopted, but he found out months later that he was, once she got sick and the state had to let them know that they had to find another caregiver for him. So her granddaughter took over him and she really didn't want that responsibility. So she had told the judge, given back to the state, and that was the moment and time that he found out that he was actually adopted and started really finding out about his self. And so we lost contact because he had to go into group homes and so we lost contact for years.

Jason:

Can we say your husband's name?

Cierra:

Jeffrey Cobb yeah.

Jason:

Jeffrey. Okay, so, jeffrey. So you knew Jeffrey when he was 14. He had a difficult childhood, getting bounced around a little bit through the system, right, that's what you're describing. And you lost touch with him for a little while and then you described some of the relationships that were difficult, that you had been through. So when the two of you reconnected, you were ready to meet him again. You're ready to see him again, and so how did you reconnect?

Cierra:

So it was crazy because I had basically was just transitioning from that abusive marriage that I was in before and his cousin had hit me up on Facebook because I was still friends with his cousin on Facebook. And he had hit me up on Facebook and was like hey, do you remember Jeffrey? And I'm like yeah, and he's like well, he needs some support. Can I give him your number? And I said yeah, which I had already knew where Jeffrey was because his case was all over the local news in North Carolina about what happened. So I kind of followed the case for a while and then I kind of fell off the case. But that's how we reconnected and so it was he incarcerated at the time.

Amber:

Yes, he was incarcerated, and so, did you visit, did you communicate via letters?

Cierra:

So this was during the middle. Well, when we first started, it wasn't COVID, this was December 2019. Covid came around I mean what? January of 2020. And so, by the time he had sent me the visitation paper, the day that I got approved, which was, I think, in March, that's when they stopped all visits. Oh wow, they had a bill of COVID. Wow.

Amber:

So making things as hard as possible sort of continues.

Jason:

Yes, so you just basically restarted this relationship as COVID was hitting the world and of course. So how close were you to him at the beginning of COVID? It's really you had that friendship from before, but it was just rekindling at that point, right.

Cierra:

Well, yeah, but it felt like, I don't know, the first time we talked, it felt like the times that we had when we were 14, it's like we didn't miss a beat. And that was the part Like it just felt so natural and you've been yeah, and you've matured in that time and been through a lot.

Jason:

So it's a different when you're reconnecting with somebody where it almost feels like home right from childhood in a positive way and you've got. So there's a comfort to that and you. But you also have maturity now of knowing what you don't want right and things that you've been through. So I could see where that would be really positive. And now you're, and now you get to go through COVID where everybody's isolated and locked down and worried about what's going on inside of the prisons. Is that so? So what's going on for you?

Cierra:

So for one he was three hours away and he was in at that time.

Cierra:

He was in a closed custody facility, which is your max facility that you could be in, and so we had to build our relationship through the phone because, you know, visitation was gone completely for the first two and a half years of our relationship. So we had to build and then a lot of times we had to build it through letters because by him being in closed custody he was locked down for 20, at first it was 23 hours a day. He came out for an hour and then they finally switched it and it went to 22 hours a day and so we had two hours out, but he would. They would let him out Like they would let the tears out at different times. So we had different times that we would talk and it would only be like an hour because you know you got so many people that's coming out, they're trying to take a shower, eat and make phone calls. So it was a line. So that was really rough at first because I was very vulnerable at that time.

Amber:

When you were communicating via the phone. What did the cost of that look like?

Cierra:

So the cost. So I think for for me I think it's like almost $2 or $3 when I would put money on my end, which would be GTO that we use. So I would put the at first. I was putting all the money on my account. So he would just call me like a prepaid call and so it. I would put maybe $20 on there and so we would go through maybe like three or maybe three or four phone calls. So it wasn't that expensive like it is now that you know he's in medium custody and we talk a lot. But it was. It was still quite expensive. Just anything with incarceration is expensive, I don't care what it is.

Amber:

Right right.

Jason:

Jeffrey has been incarcerated for how long Since?

Cierra:

2015. 2015.

Jason:

2015. It's now 2023. And how many years does he have?

Cierra:

They gave him a 25 or 31 year sentence for crime. He's falsely accused of the crime.

Jason:

And this is there possibility that he will get out early.

Cierra:

If we could get some help yeah.

Amber:

In your state. What sort of relief is available in terms of commutations? Pardon, you know, good time. All of that and from your face. Let's unpack that a little bit.

Cierra:

So we do have commutation and we have pardons, but they're very hard to get this governor that we have now he does it but he does it on a very slim, slim basis and it's you know a lot of these stipulations where it has to be.

Cierra:

You know you haven't.

Cierra:

Basically, you're close to the end of your time and there has to be like severe, true evidence of you know that you were falsely accused of a crime in North Carolina.

Cierra:

It's kind of hard to get any type of relief if you were falsely accused, just because I guess from what I have seen is it's just not enough potency when it comes to some of the legal teams, like you see in other states, that are really about trying to make sure that people who have been accused of a crime that they really dig in to see why they're saying that they were falsely accused.

Cierra:

Like you know, when I tell them that he took a plea, they're just like, oh well, it's hard to undo a plea and you have to have this evidence and not saying, okay, well, let's look into see if any of his due process rights were violated or if he had ineffective assistance of counsel or if there was any prosecutorial misconduct or anything of that nature or police misconduct during an investigation, like none of that is, in my opinion, ever sought out, like I see in other states like New York and California like California is a very big state that I see that helps a lot of people who have claims of innocence, and so I just feel like that that ball is really narrow here. It's not a wide view. I don't feel like there's enough advocate attorneys who really want to help people who said that they've been incarcerated for something they didn't do.

Cierra:

And he's incarcerated for felony murders.

Amber:

So and so when you, when you refer to felony murder we've covered this a couple of times on our podcast. So this is whereby somebody who is present during the commission of a crime is charged with the actual act of murder, even though they may not be the one who committed the act, is that? Am I characterizing that correctly?

Cierra:

Yeah, that's how felony murder works. But my thing is, when you say present, it's like, do you mean like in the room?

Amber:

Do you mean like in the area, right, right, or they were somehow affiliated in the vicinity. You know, again, I'm not an attorney, but sort of that's my understanding of this rule. So there are, you know, people across the country who may be serving. There may be three people involved, right, and one person actually committed the homicide and that person may get even get less time, like there are cases where people get less time than the people that were present or whatever, because what we know about the system is that it depends on the judge, the day of the week, what you look like, how much money you have as to like how that all pans out.

Cierra:

And if you've been in the system, if you've been in out the system a lot and the prosecutor knows who you are.

Amber:

Right. Right, that's a whole other sort of component of it, and so I think that's really important. One of the things that we see system wide right is this it's very like I don't want to call it easy, but it's pretty easy to get swept up into the system. But once you're in there, the due process that people envision because they watch law and order and all of this and this you know, go in a trial and all of this really is not what happens in actuality. So can you talk a little bit about you know? I'm just going to throw out some of the statistics. Why do 95% of people in our country take plea deals? Why would like people who don't understand it?

Jason:

Amber, can I rephrase that a little bit differently? Yeah, so in terms of Jeffrey's case, right, because I think where Amber's going with this is. We hear people saying well, you know, I would never take a deal if I was innocent, right.

Jason:

So that's where, that's where Amber is kind of going right. And so the real question is in this case, let's, let's break it down right. He's sitting there, he's been accused of something, he's probably, you know, been taken, taken into custody, and now he's sitting there and he's being advised by an attorney. Here's, here are your options. You either take this deal or and what was the or in his case?

Cierra:

or you get the death penalty. So the reason why pause pause.

Amber:

Well, I mean, I don't know. It seems like my choice is made up Pause, death penalty or this.

Jason:

Right, so I'm innocent, but there's a chance that they're going to they're going to put me to death in a country where there have been a number of people who have been put to death, who are innocent. So when you ask somebody, yeah, I would never say that I would. You know, I would fight it, I would go forward. You know, you describe the situation where Jeffrey came from the system, right, where he doesn't have. I can't imagine that he's. He's rolling in money for attorneys, right, he's coming from that system. He hasn't seen a lot of positive things happen in his life. He's also not, you know, because of because he had some experience. You described him as being in and out of the system. So he does have a record. So, as soon as you have, he's not the you know the perfect defendant, right? So he's facing death or taking the plea deal.

Jason:

So that's what you're saying, sierra, you're up.

Cierra:

Okay, so so I'll give you a little bit of background about Jeffrey. So he was well, actually was accused of a murder, like years prior, and the difference between this murder and the first murder and second murder First murder his grandmother had knew she was a very big advocate inside of the community and so she knew a specific attorney that would help him. So she paid the attorney and before they even went to court, all charges was dropped because there was no evidence that he committed the murder. They were just trying to drag his name into it because of, I guess, what they heard on the street. And you know, people will just put your name in things when the police drag you in, because police have a way of getting people to say certain things, or when they hone in on one person, they have a way of trying to get people to be like, yeah, that person did it, and so Jeffrey was that person. They thought that he was this big gang member who just went around Greensboro doing all this heinous stuff. And so with that one, you know, like I said, he had his grandma paid the attorney because she was well known, and that case was dismissed before he even went to court.

Cierra:

Now, with this one. He had a public defender and, of course, by him having, by being a capital case, he also had outside attorney, but the main attorney was the public defender. And so the public defender was basically like I don't know what you did to the prosecutor or the detective, but they have it out for you. And he was like you know, basically I don't I don't really know if he had a strategy or fee. I don't think he had a strategy of how he was going to help Jeff, to be honest. But he was like you know, I'm not going to trial, all your co defendants are going to testify against you and, in so many words, the jury is going to find you guilty and so you either have this option of taking this 25 year plea or you could go to trial and get the death penalty. So he was basically choosing for him what he thought was going to happen instead of actually letting the due process play out in court.

Cierra:

And so when I went and looked at his, his discovery, to look at the evidence that they had against him, I've seen literally it wasn't even circumstantial evidence, like there was no evidence that said he was even inside of the house when the crime took place. There was no evidence saying that he agreed or knew that that crime was going to take, and actually it wasn't even. They said it was an arm robbery and a killing and so that's not even what happened. There's no evidence of breaking and entering. It was basically a drug deal gone wrong.

Cierra:

But because of Jeffrey being well known to the system, they thought that he was just this person that set it up and so they were really going for him like he was the main person they were going for, saying that he acted in concert and you know he cohorsted all and. But there was no evidence, like all the evidence that I seen. Even the witnesses were saying that. You know he was outside the whole time.

Cierra:

You know I think he did was help up the co defended who was shot not once but twice and took him to the hospital. And if you want to come to the hospital, then he would have died and then that would have been another murder charge, right, right. So really the only thing he had was maybe accessory after his fact that you really want to charge him for anything but being culpable for a murder. There's no evidence of culpability. So his lawyer just sometimes in the good old boy system here you have, where they work together, and so that's what I'm really thinking that happened is in showing just by the evidence that's what happened. The attorney was just like, well, whatever him and the da had together, that's what they went on, because it wasn't evidence to show that he was culpable of that felony murder at all.

Amber:

Yeah. So I think it's really important that you shared all of that information, because it is very complicated to understand for those who have never, you know, interacted with the system. And when you think about, like human interactions and workplaces right, people who work within the system are also people, right. And so when you have to go into a courtroom with somebody every day, there are workplace dynamics just like every other workplace, and so you see this, you know not, you see this everywhere. It's sort of like a feature of the system that you know.

Amber:

You give me this, I'll give you that I'm not going to rock the boat in this case, because you know I'm going against somebody that I see every day and I need them for this and that, and so I think that's important to understand. And then the other thing I wanted to mention is the amount of money that we spend on policing and prosecutors and everything that the state has at its disposal, versus what we spend on public defense is gross. I mean, I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I'll just describe it as gross, so that some of the most amazing, dedicated people that I know are public defenders, but they sometimes just don't have the resource or the time. Their case loads are very high, and so I just wanted to like throw that into the conversation as well.

Cierra:

And that goes back to why a lot of people are forced to take police. A lot of people are forced to take a plea because their public defender does not have the resources that the state has at their disposal like expert witnesses and right, really good private executives that go out and do their job to find your innocence and even as far as just even the state turnover exculpatory evidence that they know you have nothing to do with it. So it's a lot of factors that play into why people are pleading guilty to a crime that they did not commit.

Jason:

And if you're sitting there and your attorney is saying, look, here's the deal in front of you and I can't guarantee you that you're not going to get the death penalty, right, I'm and that's the expert like who am I? If I'm the person, if I'm Jeffrey, right, who am I to question the attorney and say you have to go out there and fight for me because I? I don't, I'm innocent, I'm innocent, right. And he says to you I don't care whether you're innocent or not, what's really matters here is what is going to happen in the system that we have today, and what's going to happen to you is a likelihood. There's a high probability that you are not going to survive, that you're going to be put to death, and there's no, there's no tomorrow if that happens. Right, I know there is a tomorrow and there's. You know you can go back after, but but the likelihood of you know you go down a very different path.

Jason:

If you end up with the death penalty, then if you're, if you get a 25 year sentence. So it's a horrible, horrible situation that he was put in. You know not that that that he had a choice, that he had to make and, as we're talking about, you know this is it's not an isolated case. This is systemic and and he knows that right going in there, he knows what has happened to other people and other people that are in his situation knows what has happened to him. So it's just, it's just, it's just horrible all the way around.

Cierra:

Yeah, and I think what blew my mind is that Jeffery got the most time, like even the person that actually admitted to shooting the elderly lady got less time than him and they claimed it was because this based on Jeffery's prior record. But I've seen people who have a prior record way longer than his and on some other you know charges have gotten less time. So to me that still wasn't. It wasn't culpable to me as as to why he got so much time. But yeah, like sometimes you're just you're. You know you're forced to to be in a situation that you don't want to be in when you don't have the correct representation. And Jeffrey knew his case. He knew his case like the back of his hand. I mean, he told his lawyer that you know, look, I don't think you have my best interest at heart and he tried to fire him.

Cierra:

But it's not easy to fire a public defender either, because it's a process you have to go through and then the judge still decides whether or not you keep that attorney or not. So it's not just like hey, I don't like the way you're doing. You know, I don't feel like you're doing my case right. I want to let you go and you go find another one. The only way that happens is if you pay an attorney. But if you have a public defender, sometimes you're forced to be stuck with what you have. You can't get rid of it, and so he was forced to be stuck with that public defender who he had told you know, I don't think you have my best interest at heart, you know. I know my case. I just need for you to go in there and be my voice, be my advocate, right?

Amber:

Well, in the truth of the matter is, even when you're depending on what your your wealth factor is, I'll just say, even when you hire a private attorney, a lot of times you know you're like $40,000 in your $60,000 in, you got to start all over again. You're not getting your money back.

Cierra:

Right.

Amber:

Right. So like the process is just really stacked against the person. And you know, a lot of times if people are hiring private attorneys, it's you know grandma that mortgage their house.

Amber:

You know it's like, it's not like people are just independently wealthy and they have like stuff laying around you got to choose between bail money and like money for the attorney, and these are really really difficult choices that people have to make. So I think that you know we really explored that, that topic, in depth. So so when we're thinking about, like Jeffrey and his situation, his expectation at this point is that he's going to be serving the time that he's been given unless something changes. Is that right? That's correct. And so you went through COVID and there was no visitation. Have visitations resumed or Visitations did resume.

Cierra:

They resumed, I want to say, last year. We still had points and times where we would have visitation on and off, because COVID would die down and they would ramp back up, but for the longest we just had visitation with no contact. When I first started going to see him, I had to drive three hours away and then we had 30 minutes. So I would drive three hours for 30 minutes, non-contact, with two big brown tables in between us which would make us six feet apart. You could barely hear one another because you had to wear a mask. And we actually got married during COVID as well. I think we got married out of Alabama. For some reason, alabama saw that it was an opening to get a lot of people married, and so they made it to where you could just apply for your license online and get it notarized and send it back and the judge would declare you married. So that's how we got married.

Jason:

What was the date?

Cierra:

January 19, 2021 is when we got married 2021.

Jason:

Okay.

Amber:

All right. So that is some kind of story. I always people I eloped and we went to the courthouse and people are like oh yeah, are you ever going to have a ceremony or whatever? So later on, when we all work together and get Jeffrey free, are you going to have a ceremony?

Cierra:

Yes, definitely, definitely want to have a ceremony because, yeah, at first I was expected to get married in the prison and I bought a dress and everything because I was like, okay, well, once prison's open back up, we'll have a prison wedding. But I saw that opportunity and I was just like, why wait? So that's how we got married was through Alabama.

Jason:

We'll meet somewhere in the middle and have a joint ceremony. My wife and I got married in August of 2020. During the pandemic, we changed our plans. We're going to get married. Every place was shutting down, so we ended up with a backyard wedding 15 masked people, all separated.

Amber:

Yeah, I mean, it's really really something special, sarah, that you guys were able to do that and yeah, so you get married and now you're like doing you know, when does your sort of career path change? Because I know, you're doing something else right now.

Cierra:

Career path change is as soon as we got together, like as soon as I heard his story, that is what and I knew nothing about law in 2019, 2020. I knew nothing about law, but I don't know. It was just something in my heart just was like I can't let somebody who I know didn't commit a crime just sit in prison for that amount of time, especially when there's evidence that he didn't do it. And so that day is when it changed. The day that we actually reconnected back in 2019 was the day that it changed.

Cierra:

After that, I began to just start reaching out, doing research about his case and the case laws, and I just started reaching out to everybody.

Cierra:

That was, you know, in this, in this realm of life, and that's how I came across Emancipate, which is funny.

Cierra:

I think I was sending them a message, because I came across their page really late on YouTube and I sent Dawn, which is our executive director, a message about you know what was going on with Jeffrey, and she was like I don't know what you're talking about, and so I explained it to her again.

Cierra:

And then, next thing, I know I started going to a few of the protests that they were having and met Dawn, and Kerwin is another guy that I work with and so I just that's how I really started with Emancipate was reaching out for Jeff for help, and so I guess they just saw my passion and so they hired me on and they didn't know what I was going to be and they was like, well, you know, why don't you be an advocate?

Cierra:

And I'm like, yeah, let me do that. And so I started being an advocate and what I do is I'm an advocate and I just advocate for people who are wrongfully convicted pretrial, post trial, helping people get back into life after incarceration through reentry. Back in 2021, I actually advocated for a guy who had the exact same case as my husband, jeffrey, who was going through pretrial and they were trying to give him the death penalty with no evidence of him being at the scene at all, and it was just a co-defendant saying that he was there, because the co-defendant was forced to say that because he had the same background as Jeffrey was in and out of prison.

Jason:

Wait, people lie.

Cierra:

Yeah, people, what? Yeah, when you're in interrogation room and you're in there for hours upon hours upon hours and they keep showing you this one person, eventually your brain's going to be like just say yes, so I can leave. And so that's what happened. And so the evidence pointed that he was not there. But it's just that that prosecutor had knew him, because it's a small rural county and the prosecutor had knew him at one time, used to be his attorney, so he kind of knew his background. And so, yeah, they were trying to give him the death penalty for it was a heinous crime, don't get me wrong. But he had nothing to do with it.

Cierra:

And so I went to the courthouse every day. He was in court, every court case he had. I was there and advocating and talking to the media, and so we had a press conference right before they actually was going to trial, had a press conference and just let his family humanize him and show how he was just a human and that he didn't do this crime. And so it ended up being that they didn't find him guilty on the capital murder, so he didn't get the death penalty, and then they were still going to take him again for a second degree murder. But I just kept advocating and telling people to you know, stand up and tell the prosecutor that that's not. We're not going to allow somebody innocent to be put to death or be put in prison for something they didn't do.

Cierra:

So the day before they were going to start his second trial, the prosecutor finally broke down and gave him a really good deal, which I don't. Of course I don't like plea deals because mine was forced into one, but the plea deal that he got he couldn't deny that because they gave him 14 years for the second degree murder and then he also had another charge, firearm by felon. So if he would have got convicted of the second degree murder and the firearm by felon, that could have been life plus 20. But they end up giving him a 14 year deal and by him already being incarcerated for six years he only has to do not. So you can't really beat that.

Amber:

I mean Right, and so you're working within a system that works in the way that it does, and so, while we're struggling to change the system, people need, like the, the most amount of relief that they can get today, right. And so the outcome, even though it's not ideal of the man wasn't caged. It was a more ideal outcome than you know may have been possible had you not been advocating for him.

Cierra:

Yeah, he probably could have possibly got the death penalty and then got life. So just being able to be a voice and outside voice for him was is what changed around for him, and I think about it. All that they heard about was what the media put out, with the state put out. Sure, it wasn't what you know. His family and, of course, his lawyer couldn't talk. So I was talking for the lawyer, right, and just being able to humanize him, make people see where our system is really corrupt, and then, you know, they had the news media in there at his trial so they were able to see all the false information that they were trying to put on. So that was really important, which saved his life then.

Amber:

Yeah, absolutely, and those are the stories that you show you when you have to. Yeah, and I think that you bring up an important point about media. And again it comes back to resources, right, because police departments and the system in general spend a lot of money on, you know, specialists to put out media press releases that are framed in a way that is positive to the system. And, you know, individual defendants don't have the luxury of having that media spokesperson who is, you know, trained in how to navigate it. So, you're exactly right, you know you saved, you were a part of saving that man's life.

Cierra:

And that's why I think it's important to have holistic public defenders offices in every county, because Then that way it's not all on the public defender.

Cierra:

You have a whole team working with you, you have an advocate, you have a social worker, you have your public defender, you have your private investigator, and when you have a whole team, it's easier to Fight for someone.

Cierra:

Because I don't think these well, I think they know, but some of them, I don't think they really know that you, you are advocating for this person's life, you are supposed to be their advocate, and it takes a whole team, not just one person who has 30 or 40 or 50 or 200 cases that they have to go through, but it takes an entire team To advocate for somebody's innocence, because this, these are people's lives that we are just throwing away. It's not just a piece of trash, these are actually people's lives that we are throwing away, and so it's very important that you have a whole team working with you, and so, by by his attorney having me To be able to get out there and speak because we know most attorneys can't speak because they're under gag orders, and he was under one I was able to be that voice and help paint that other side of the picture for Defended, then for the state. That's amazing.

Jason:

Yeah, I mean, first of all, we'll talk in a minute about, like, how that's affected you right in terms of Dealing with your own trauma and processing and how that feels for you. But I just want to comment, you know, when you talk about somebody getting a nine years is a good outcome and I know in amber bitch and that's like the best outcome in the situation, but it still is so far away from what the outcome should be sure. I mean, and let's be honest about it I mean I you didn't even mention the race, but I can guess the race of the person in North Carolina who got the nine years. Nine years is a long, long time. If anybody thinks about where they were nine years ago, it's a lifetime ago and nine years from now is a lifetime from now. So, and you're taking people out of Of a system and not putting him in a place where they're gonna heal.

Jason:

You know, every one of these cases that you've talked about, I would, I would guarantee has similar trauma to what Jeffrey experienced in his life and has never had the opportunity. These guys have never had the opportunity to heal from that and we put him into an environment that is even worse. I mean, let's, let's talk about for a second. You know the fact that it's where we're having record heat right now, and In Texas they don't have air condition in some of the prisons and people are being cooked alive. It's beyond Horrific. Well, I don't know what it's like in North Carolina prisons. I can't imagine that it's comfortable when it gets hot far from comfortable now.

Cierra:

The only good thing about it is 2020.

Cierra:

North Carolina did apply for a grant that gave them billions of dollars to start installing and fixing the AC Units and a lot of our prisons, but they still is still a lot of them that don't have AC, like any of the prisons that Jeff has been in didn't have AC now, I think the close custody prison he had did, but the last two don't have AC, and so we have a lot of people that are elderly, that are suffering, and so we are actually trying to figure out what's taking so long, because if you got the money in 2020, you started, you know, fixing some prisons in 2020 and 2021, especially 2021, 2022.

Cierra:

We need to know why the rest of the prisons aren't fixed Because actually, the facilities at now they actually started transferring people like three months ago because they were gonna fix the AC, but we still have no AC yet and we're not understanding why. But it's very miserable because a lot of our print out, all of our prisons are old, like I mean, built back in the 1920s, old like they're. They're old and they have asbestos. They have a last one prison in North Carolina who has a lot of people who have cancer, and we're trying to look into that, because I don't think people understand that prisons are also an environmental risk and hazard as well, because they're really old and so that's exactly what we're looking at now was just the environmental effects that prisons have on just the environment and the people that are living behind the walls right.

Jason:

So so if you just follow that Along, you know you take somebody who's had a traumatic upbringing. You know in this case we're talking, you know we've we started the conversation with somebody who's innocent. I don't care if they're innocent or guilty. I mean I, you know, I do care for you. But in terms of just in general, we should not be torturing people in in our name and then we put them in these conditions that you're talking about. That's the heat, if it you know you've got you talked about the mold you talk about. And then and then, if they do get sick, we had a guest recently, Amber this year, who was talking to us about health.

Jason:

Yeah, theresa right when Theresa talked about what's going on in New York when they try to access health care, especially as they're aging. So I mean, it's just unbelievable to me. You know, it's 2023 and we do this to people. We should be much more enlightened at this point in our lives. And so, again, somebody who's had this sort of trauma. And now you torture them and we don't call it torture, we call it justice. But right, but we have to be honest about it, it is torture. We are torturing people, and people who would call themselves good people Say well, you know well, what did they do?

Jason:

What did they do? Number one don't do the crime if you can't do the time. You know All the cliches that we hear and it's heartless and and you know we have to stand up and scream. This is not okay. This is not okay.

Cierra:

Yeah and was. And I think what gets me is the fact that the ones that say that are the ones that be committing crimes like Proskatoria misconduct or police misconduct, like you. You're like you're committed, but you're committing a crime too, like you're supposed to be prosecuted for proskatoria misconduct. So I think that's what always gets me is they always want to act like you know. They're so perfect and they've never done anything wrong. Everybody's done something wrong, whether you got caught for it or not.

Jason:

You've done something wrong, and so yeah, and I would say that everybody is everybody has caused harm. There's a matter of degrees, right, and you're talking about caught or not, caught against the law, not against the law but everybody has harmed people Sometimes. Sometimes they harm people on purpose, sometimes it's by accident, sometimes it's. You're making the choice Between the lesser of two evils in your mind, right? So there's all degrees of harm, but how do we react to that? How do we work as a society to minimize the harm and not just Magnify it and propel it and keep it going? And what we see here in terms of what you're talking about, is that it's just now. It's the state that's imposing these harms that are, that are so egregious, but we call it justice and I would argue that you know state actors.

Amber:

Whether you're police, whether you're a prosecutor you're, you know Person working in a prison, your, whatever state actor you are, you have a higher obligation. Yes not commit crimes because of you know.

Jason:

Like you know, spider-man with great power comes creating great Responsibility right and Amber, if you're a politician who's been given the studies and the facts and you're educated on it and you still go out there and perpetuate the myths and do this thing To torture in the state's name, you, you're even creating, in my mind, great I mean that's a even higher level of complicity and culpability, in my opinion, my humble opinion, we're all in agreement, shaking our head.

Jason:

So let me take you back a second here. So we were saying you know, you're doing all this, this work. Now you, you've made a career shift. You're doing a lot of great work. What has that done in terms of your PTSD, in terms of your trauma response? Is that been? Do you find that it that it has exacerbated your, your reactions, or is it actually helped you in terms of your own healing journey?

Cierra:

I'm gonna say a little bit of both. I think before I actually got it under control, it exacerbated it because you're taking on other people's trauma. You have your own, but you're also taking on other people's trauma and so I had to learn how to balance but not get. I would get burnt out a lot. And then, once I got burnt out, that's when I could tell like my PTSD would really amp up and I would have more seizures. So I had to learn how to balance it not Take on everybody's trauma, but also make sure I'm healing myself as I'm taking on their trauma, healing myself at the same moment, which that could be me going out to do yoga or go and do a quick meditation or just be somewhere peaceful for 10 or 15 minutes to get myself back on track. But anytime you're working, especially in this realm of life, it is very traumatic and you always have to find a way to keep yourself balanced but not burn yourself out, because if you get burnt out then you can't help nobody at all in this situation. But it also helped me find my purpose and my passion. I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do is to stand up for the voiceless, to help advocate and be.

Cierra:

The another thing that I also do is I'm a prison jail coordinator. So I am that middle person between the people in the prison and the family so that the families don't have to call and keep calling and sending emails because we know the correctional officers and the people on the high DAC don't, they don't like to deal with the families and they'll tell them anything. But when you have somebody like me who knows you know how to what to say to them and how to get them to respond, that it takes a lot of stress off the family. So I've also began to do that be the prison jail coordinator, where I am coordinated between the prisons and the families so that they don't have to deal with that unpleasant, because they can be very unpleasant. If you don't cultivate or know how to bring a conversation to them about something that they're doing wrong, then they will be very, sometimes very, ugly and nasty. So I've been able to cultivate relationships really inside.

Amber:

I mean I, I love that so much, sierra, because I think about, like, looking back on my own experience and, you know, just trying to figure out what the rules of visitation are. Or you know, there was a situation where there wasn't water, where my husband was incarcerated for like three days and I'm trying to communicate with them just to have somebody be that like sort of you know, sometimes people call them on Budsman's or call them, you know, advocate or whatever, to be a go between when you're so overwhelmed. That is just amazing. I love that so much, thank you.

Jason:

You also doing a podcast. I know you recently had Amber on yours. You want to mention something about that?

Cierra:

Yeah, that's, I'm also our mini hats and emancipate, I'm also a podcast host. It's funny because that was actually my husband's idea. He was like why don't you come up with a podcast? And I'm like, okay, well, what is it going to be about? And he was like about incarceration.

Cierra:

And so I pitched the idea to my colleague and she went and heard his idea and then she just began to work on it and so we kind of we cultivated for a space for people that are incarcerated and family members to have a safe space to tell what has happened to them, to tell what their experience and why they're in prison, because we know that a lot of times that when things are going on, they're always made out in the bad light, especially when you have situations in prison you know they just didn't happen.

Cierra:

And so just being able to have a safe space for them to tell what happened to them, why they, why they got to prison, or telling what's going on in prison to bring more awareness to everybody, because if you aren't directly or indirectly impacted, you probably really don't know what's going on inside of anything criminal justice unless you've been inside of that system. So we decided to create a safe space for people to tell their story because, like I said, a lot of people, their side of the story is told by the state and the media is not told by them, and so they're able to tell their side and hopefully just to bring awareness and maybe even to get help, for you know what they're going through.

Jason:

Hey, that's what we're doing. Yeah, so like.

Amber:

This is why it's so exciting because there are people like yourself here out there. You know that really want to center the voices of people who are most directly impacted, and I think we should have 500 podcasts, shows and theater and art and and all of that because there are so many real life impactful stories to be told. So that's why I was so pleased to be on your podcast, to have you here on ours and I think you know, uplifting both of those things and anyone else who's like in this work. We're all co struggles to co-strugglers. I love that word because we're all struggling and we're doing it together and the more we lift each other, the more we all rise and I just love that.

Jason:

Have there been any that stood out that you know, in terms of something you learned or something that shocked you, or something that you're that that really touched you?

Cierra:

doing my very first episode I had a guy named Mr Ron's on there and he was explaining to us. You know just what solitary confinement is like.

Cierra:

He was getting a glimpse into what a cell is and what your day is like, and just knowing that they're in a room that is big as a small parking spot, which is like a four by eight, was just really, I think, compelling, not only to me but to the audience, because a lot of people didn't know that their cells are that small. A lot of people didn't know that when they take them out for wreck time, they actually put them in dog cages to stand there for an hour outside. A lot of people didn't know that they have no mental health. They might have somebody come around to the trap and be like are you okay? No, then they're going to try to put you in this all white suit where you can't even move, you have nothing in your room, and if you say you know no, then they just keep going. So it's you know. And a lot of people was like I just want somebody to talk to. I just want to talk to somebody because I'm in a room all day. It's white, it's nothing in here. I'm in here 22 hours a day, I can only shower three times a week, I can't talk to anybody, and so just giving them a true glimpse inside of what a day of solitary confinement is like was one that really got to me.

Cierra:

And then I did one about a month ago with a guy who was actually convicted off a junk science. They said that his DNA was in a glove, that he raped this girl, but come to find out that was not his DNA and the expert DNA witness that said it was his DNA got caught lying, and not only his case but a few other cases. So it just goes to show you how far state actors will go to secure a conviction. And so he was 17, had never been in trouble, know nothing, and they grabbed him up like right before he was about to graduate and charged him with this heinous crime. He's now he's like 25. And so he actually had to do all the groundwork himself, like go get stuff retested and he's still waiting to get out.

Cierra:

And I think the reason why he got attention was because he was a juvenile. And I think last year year before last North Carolina came up with the law that it was unlawful to give a juvenile life without parole, because that's what they gave him, and so that that really that was. I was like wow, like people really do get convinced. People think because the state witnesses they have these state experts. Yeah, they're correct, and a lot of times they aren't like there's such thing as junk science and I don't think people understand that, and so that was another thing. I think that really got to me. I'm like wow.

Amber:

I learned so much about, like the humanity that exists within the system, the incompetence that exists within the system and the very thin veil of perception of science that they utilize. I mean, don't get me started on polygraphs and treatment, and you know junk science they use to convict people. That's a whole nother podcast. But I was equally as surprised through our experience about how all that all works. And now I'm definitely going back and listening to that podcast, because I haven't gotten to that one yet.

Cierra:

It was amazing, like I mean I've, I mean I I didn't know about the junk science until, like, I really started getting into Jeff's case and figuring out that footprints aren't. You know, you really can't tell by the footprint or bite mark.

Jason:

Bite marks, blood splatter.

Cierra:

Yeah, blood splatter. So that's when I really started getting into understanding the science when it comes to these court systems and knowing that there is junk science, like a lot of stuff that they say is you know a true? I guess what evident marker that you were there at that crime, that you committed that crime can be made up.

Amber:

Yeah, it's, it's really, it's astounding. So, sierra, we're coming sort of to the end of our time together and we so appreciate you coming in and sharing your own story and all the great work that you're doing. I'm going to ask sort of my final question that again we have sort of an opening question and a final question and that is, if you think about, like somebody who might be at the beginning of a journey that is similar to yours and you could give them one piece of advice, what would that be Stay strong and don't give up.

Cierra:

Don't stop fighting because you can. This system can make you feel like, okay, well, just the heck with it, I'm done. You know I'm not ever going to win, but stand strong and keep fighting. If you're going to stand for something, stand for what you believe in and keep going at it, because eventually you will knock that wall down.

Amber:

That's awesome. I love that. Last thoughts Jason.

Jason:

Well, I just want to. Yeah, I have a couple thoughts, but first I want to go back to the junk science. Joshua Ho, on his podcast the Carceration Nation, interviewed M Chris Fabricant back in 2022, who wrote junk science and the American criminal justice system.

Cierra:

Got that book.

Jason:

You have it Good.

Cierra:

All right, she's like, that is I have like a very thumb through version of that book. I bought that book and I even shot out Chris on it. Yes, a wonderful book.

Jason:

Great. So my question I guess my last question for you before I go on is there anything that we didn't cover that you want to make sure we get in, or are we good?

Cierra:

I think we're good. I think we've covered everything. If you want to follow Emancipate and the great things that we are doing, I work for a nonprofit call Emancipate and see, we do a lot with the prison system, police brutality. Ben Crump has been on a few of our cases here lately where the police have killed a couple of people. So we work with Ben Crump's office on that and we do a lot just around the community.

Cierra:

We're trying to bring a mental health group called the heart group, which actually, instead of police responding to mental health issues, the heart team responds, and they've had like a very good outcome. There's been a couple of stories nationwide done about the heart team, so we're trying to get that a little bit. Well, probably in every county if we can. Durham is probably our modeled progressive little county that we have that has restorative justice, they have heart, they have a lot of different things that they do, and so just trying to model what Durham does has been very hard in the rest of North Carolina because it's very rural. But yeah, we do.

Cierra:

We do what we can to fight for people that are impacted in the system. You can find us at emancipatenc. org. I have a podcast which is, of course, the black light mass incarceration show, and you can find that on any major streaming platform. And then, if you want to follow me, I'm on LinkedIn, sierra M Cobb, and I'm mainly on Twitter. I got a Facebook, Cierra Cobb, and I'm a Twitter girl, so I'll be on Twitter and you can follow me at Cierra M Cobb one.

Amber:

Awesome.

Jason:

Yeah well, Sierra, it was great talking to you. I know Amber got to meet you previous to this for me as first time so it was delightful talking with you and getting to know you. You came from a very rough beginning, you had tremendous experiences and it sounds like you are on this great path. I hope you and Jeffrey are reunited sooner rather than later physically and that just things continue to go positively for you.

Cierra:

Thank you so much for having me on here. It's important to have more and more podcasts like this and more and more conversations just to change the narrative shift in how people think of the criminal justice system, because that's the only way we're going to make a positive impact. That's shifting the narrative in the thought process of people.

Jason:

Absolutely, and with that we'll say until next time, Amber.

Amber:

See you next time.

Amplified Voices
Reconnecting With Incarcerated Husband
Public Defenders and Plea Bargaining Issues
Prisoner Challenges and Lack of Legal Representation
Advocating for Wrongfully Convicted Individuals
Advocacy and Healing in Criminal Justice
Solitary Confinement and Junk Science
Positive Impact