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True Un-Crime: ‘Wrongful Conviction’ Returns With 30 Stories of Innocent People Behind Bars.


True Crime remains one of podcasting’s most popular genres, but Lava for Good is finding critical acclaim with the antithesis. It will present 30 stories of innocent people behind bars in the new season of Wrongful Conviction launching today (Jan. 8). New episodes will follow each Monday and Thursday, featuring cases that underscore what host Jason Flom and producer Maggie Freleng says are the systemic failures and outright biases within the legal system, as their series celebrates the triumph of the human spirit even in the face of overwhelming injustice. 


In Wrongful Conviction, Flom and Freleng speak with individuals who were convicted based on coerced and secretly incentivized testimony, police brutality and prosecutorial misconduct, nonexistent confessions, or discredited junk science. 


The debut episode was recorded live from the United Justice Coalition Summit last month. Flom and Freleng spoke with Andre Brown, a Bronx, NY man who was wrongfully convicted of attempted murder despite eyewitness testimony of someone else committing the crime and physical evidence pointing to the actual assailant. Brown's conviction was ultimately vacated after he served 22 years. 


"In Wrongful Conviction, we're giving voice to compelling stories that reveal hard truths about our criminal legal system's fundamental flaws,” said Flom. “Cases like Andre Brown’s are gut-wrenching examples of our justice system gone awry. By bringing these stories into the light, we aim to build momentum for meaningful reform. It's high time we confront these systemic failures head-on and advocate for people who have been voiceless for far too long."


Listeners will also hear the story of the conviction of Fabian Santiago, who was subjected to brutal, hours-long interrogation and torture by Chicago police that ended only after they extracted a confession to a shooting that killed one person and wounded two others. But even with no physical evidence linking him to the crime and no written or electronic record of his supposed confession, Santiago was sentenced to 90 years in prison. 


Another episode explores the case of Greg Brown, who was only 17 years old when he was arrested after a neighbor came to police with suspicions that Brown had set the house where he lived with his mother ablaze, starting a fire that killed three Pittsburgh firefighters. With the prosecution relying on fabricated arson evidence to support their accusation, Greg was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder, arson, and insurance fraud. 


Another episode will shine the spotlight on the tragic story of Cassandra Black Elk, an indigenous woman from South Dakota who woke up one morning to find her three-month-old baby girl unresponsive. When police arrived, they insisted that the child had died due to the controversial Shaken Baby Syndrome. It was only after Elk was behind bars that the final report on the baby’s autopsy was released — which determined that the cause of death was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.


"Each episode takes us on a journey deep into the darkest corners of the criminal justice system, bringing attention to unimaginable stories that are often overlooked,” said Freleng. “Cases like those of Cassandra Black Elk are not just tragic; they are a stark reminder of the urgent need for reform. As we share these stories, we're not simply recounting past events — we're igniting a conversation about justice, equity, and the human impact of legal missteps. It's a call to action, urging our listeners to join us in this crucial fight for justice."


Since 2022, Lava for Good has been working with the iHeartPodcast Network to expand the reach of its shows. Under the deal iHeart also handles monetization for Lava for Good podcasts.

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