Saturday, June 13, 2015

Joyce Ann Brown, R.I.P.

I'm informed that Joyce Ann Brown, one of Texas' earliest and most vocal exonerees whose case received national attention, has passed away. Grits is sorry to hear that, she was an iconoclast and an impassioned and outspoken advocate for justice. She and I sometimes disagreed on priorities or strategic approaches, but I respected her.

See here and here for background on Joyce Ann's false conviction and pre-DNA exoneration in 1990, spearheaded by the intrepid Centurion Ministries.

For many years, a lot of folks treated Brown's case as an outlier. After dozens of Texas DNA exonerations re-framed the debate around innocence, however, it's clear in hindsight her story was more prototype than aberration. She was a brave, passionate fighter and I'm proud to have known her.

See below a picture of Joyce Ann with Elizabeth Ramirez of the San Antonio Four in April at a screening of a documentary on that case in Dallas.

Photo via Mike Ware
MORE: From the Dallas News, and an editorial praising Brown and other exonerees who have fought for improvements in the system. AND MORE: Here's an extensive obituary/remembrance at the New York Times.


Unknown said...

Joyce will be missed. Next to Lenell Jeter, Joyce was one of the first Texas exonerees. She paved the road for many of us.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to her family. I have much respect for her and family.

Unknown said...

The. World is a lesser place without a woman of her substance. Godspeed Joyce Ann Brown.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

May you R.I.P. Joyce.

I'll never forget those that dared to tell me that they couldn't assist me in righting a wrong due to the lack of a certain type of evidence, failing to exhaust all direct appeals, the year in which I was wronged and/or (prior to hanging up, due it being a legal issue) that I should hire a lawyer.

I'll never forget those that took time to tell me to never give up, to never, ever let it go. For to give up and let it go is equal to conspiring with those that wronged you. Right is right & wrong is wrong, take a stand and stay there, if not for yourself - do it for others. With that, despite being an un-exoneratable, I pledged to take a stand and fight on behalf of others denied justice, giving full credit to Joyce.

*There will be a statue as soon as I can locate someone willing to assist in making it so.

The Old Skool Preacher said...

My her work be remembered.