Attorney’s inspiring mission to transform criminal legal system

Brittany K. Barnett, who has successfully gotten clemency for 11 clients in the past six years, talks about her memoir, “A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom.”
2:38 | 07/20/21

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Transcript for Attorney’s inspiring mission to transform criminal legal system
We are back with a woman on an inspiring mission to eradicate injustice within the American criminal justice system. She's doing it one case at a time. Take a look. My book, "A knock at midnight, a story of hope, justice and freedom", covers my journey of understanding injustice in the courts, of languishing behind bars and the evolution of the definition of freedom itself. Through my childhood, I wanted to be a lawyer like Clair Huxtable from "The Cosby show." Is this how you treat adults? When I take them to courts, yes. My mother became addicted to drugs and her addiction ultimately led to her incarceration. It gave me firsthand experience on how mass incarceration devastates families and communities. I resigned from my civil law job to transform the system. I write about my work in helping to free people who were set to die in prison for federal drug offenses. In 2009 I received a letter from Britney K. Barnett and I was like, a student going to help me get out of my sentence, no way. Many attorneys tried. It just wasn't enough. In 2017, Brittany became not only my lifesaver, my best friend, but a mentor. She had read about me in a news article, at the same time the judge, Kevin H. Sharp, had resigned from the bench and said he wanted to dedicate his time to help get me free and agreed to help her in any way he could. December the 18th, 2015, I received a phone call from Brittany and on the other end she was saying, you're coming home, you're finally free, and I was breathless, I could not speak. I started crying and I started thanking god. January 20th, 2021, president trump granted me executive clemency. I walked out of the doors of the prison. It was one of the greatest days of my life. It was a feeling that was so exhilarating and I was so jubilant. Working with Chris young and Jones, it was a phenomenal life-altering experience. There is so much genius behind bars and we really have to tap into that and not be so addicted to incarceration in this country. I wanted the world to see them the way that I did. And the paperback version of "A knock at midnight: A story of hope, justice and freedom" will

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