Levin College of Law

Author Joyce Ann Brown to Discuss Experience of Being Sentenced to Life in Prison for a Murder She Did Not Commit

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Joyce Ann Brown, author of Justice Denied and president of Mothers (Fathers) for the Advancement of Social Systems Inc. (MASS), will present a lecture at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

Brown will talk about her experiences of being accused, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for a murder she did not commit and her successful fight to have her wrongful conviction overturned. MASS is a non-profit foundation that helps people being released from prison readjust to life without bars, providing support for the children and families of adult offenders at high risk for substance abuse, medical or emotional disorders and poverty. All are welcome to attend the free presentation.

Brown was arrested for a 1980 murder in Dallas based on testimony from a witness who identified her from a photograph. She had become a suspect when police learned that a car used in the crime had been rented by someone named Joyce Ann Brown. Unfortunately, the Joyce Ann Brown who rented the car and the Joyce Ann Brown whom the police arrested were different people. An eyewitness erroneously identified the one who had been arrested, and that Joyce Ann Brown was charged with the crime. Before trial, police and prosecutors discovered the error but proceeded with the prosecution.

Brown was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. After an investigation by Jim McCloskey of Centurion Ministries and an exposé by CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Brown’s conviction was reversed because police and prosecutors had failed to turn over exculpatory evidence in their possession. All charges were dismissed in 1990.

Brown’s lecture, to be presented in the college’s Holland Hall, room 355B, is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations (CSRRR), the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Criminal Law Association (CLA).

For more information contact Melissa Bamba at bamba@law.ufl.edu or (352) 273-0614.

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