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True Crime Podcasters Join Lineup Of Guest Hosts For New ‘Wrongful Conviction’ Season.


Lava for Good will tap into a lineup of guest hosts for a second installment of its Wrongful Conviction series. Following up on its first all-guest host season released last September, the new season will feature ten new episodes focused on individual cases of wrongful incarceration, each told by true crime podcasters, criminal justice reform advocates, and those formerly incarcerated.


Among the latest Wrongful Conviction lineup of guests hosts are Lauren Bright Pacheco, host of the chart topping podcasts Murder in Illinois, Murder in Oregon, Happy Face, and the newly released Murder in Miami; Ashley Fantz, the host and co-writer of the Suspect podcast; journalist and Bone Valley host Gilbert King; and Susan Simpson, host of the Undisclosed and Proof podcasts.


“As a producer specializing in True Crime, the concept of creating content with purpose has always been a guiding principle,” said Bright Pacheco. “Initially, I was drawn to Wrongful Conviction as an avid listener. I found the individual stories not just moving but motivating; by exposing the flaws in our criminal justice system in such a personal way, the podcast consistently catalyzes listener attention into action. I couldn’t be happier to join Lava for Good’s efforts to raise awareness for the wrongfully convicted, and I look forward to a future where there’ll be fewer cases to highlight.”


The season launches today (April 20) with Bright Pacheco’s conversation with exoneree Lamar Johnson, who was released from a life sentence after being wrongfully convicted of murder despite no motive or physical evidence connecting him to the crime. Bright Pacheco will then interview exoneree Sidney Holmes in episode five to try to make sense of how Holmes could have been wrongfully convicted and then sentenced to 400 years in prison for a robbery and car theft in which no one was injured.


Other highlights of the season include King’s interview with Juan Roberto Melendez. Throughout his years spent in Florida working on his book “Devil in the Grove” and on Lava for Good’s podcast Bone Valley, King became familiar with Melendez’s story and a fan of his advocacy work. In the sit-down, King and Melendez explore an unexpected connection between this case and that of Leo Schofield, the subject of Bone Valley.


Simpson joins Wrongful Conviction following seven seasons co-hosting Undisclosed and launching her new podcast series Proof, which was credited with the exonerations of two men convicted as teenagers in Georgia for the alleged murder of their close friend — which ultimately was established to have been not a murder but a tragic self-inflicted gunshot wound. In two separate episodes, Simpson speaks with one of the Georgia exonerees, Darrell “Lee” Clark, and then with Jeff Titus, who was exonerated following coverage of the case on the Undisclosed podcast, about their long journeys to freedom and the challenges of life after wrongful imprisonment.


"I've been a longtime advocate for criminal justice reform and a firm believer in the transformative power of storytelling, so I am humbled to welcome these exceptional hosts to center stage,” said Lava for Good CEO Flom. “Season two of Wrongful Conviction: The Guest Host Series shines more light on the devastation of wrongful incarceration — all while giving a voice to those who have been silenced through decades of imprisonment for crimes they didn’t commit."


Wrongful Conviction also welcomes back formerly incarcerated guest hosts, including Earlonne Woods, who co-created the popular Ear Hustle podcast while incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison before his sentence was commuted in 2018. Patrick Pursley also returns to host; after being wrongfully convicted for murder and spending nearly 24 years in prison. He ended up writing the law that set him free.


Kemba Smith also returns as a guest host. Her tumultuous journey from a college student to a drug dealer's girlfriend, domestic violence victim – and ultimately a federal prison inmate – drew national attention and support leading to President Bill Clinton commuting her sentence at the behest of Lava for Good CEO Jason Flom. Today, Smith is a fierce advocate for criminal justice and social reform.


Wrongful Conviction: The Guest Host Series will be released on alternating Thursdays in the Wrongful Conviction podcast feed.

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