Man Wrongfully Sentenced To Prison At 17 Becomes A Defense Lawyer.


Jarrett Adams is a criminal defense lawyer who has dedicated his career to bringing justice to those who are underserved.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Adams graduated high school in 1998 at the age of 17. After a party, Adams was accused of rape, despite a witness statement that contradicted the accuser's story.

Adams and his friends were arrested and charged with sexual assault. At 17 he was "tried as an adult and sentenced to serve 28 years in a maximum-security prison." Adams said.

After being in prison for a year and a half, Adams began to read everything he could at the prison's law library trying to prove his own innocence. Through his reading, he discovered that his public defendant failing to locate and call a known witness was a violation of his rights.

He looked through newspapers to identify attorneys litigating cases that could support his argument. Eventually, he received a reply from a lawyer in Milwaukee. Adams worked with the lawyer creating the groundwork for an argument that would ultimately be successful in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 2004, the Innocence Project took on Adams' case and In 2006, they argued his case to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The court unanimously overturned Adams' conviction, on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel.

After eight years, he was finally released and enrolled in college. He received his associate's degree, paid his way through Roosevelt University in Chicago, and graduated with high honors and a bachelor's in criminal justice. In 2015, Adams graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and was hired by the Innocence Project, the same organization that helped exonerate him.

Today, he works for his own private practice working to bring justice to others

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