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Sabrina Butler-Smith was a Mississippi teen mom wrongfully convicted of killing her 9-month-old child in 1990 and sentenced to death. Six years later, she became the first American woman ever exonerated from death row.
In a special episode, our lovely hosts Wagatwe Wanjuki and Irna Landrum interview Sabrina Butler-Smith to hear her story of injustice, solitude, and redemption, which has been featured on CNN's Death Row Stories. Today she uses her experience to change the world—with an awe-inspiring level of compassion and resilience.
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When you meet Sabrina, you immediately feel like you’ve known her for years. She is warm, funny, and a great conversationalist. There are no dull moments when she’s around. There’s no way to know she spent six years on death row, a victim of a country that disregarded her and a system that targeted her. But she was. During her interview, she shares not just her story but her life now and her hopes for how we can move forward together. She is an incredible person that has so much to teach us all about resilience, character, and commitment.
As Sabrina tells her story, our hosts consider the numerous intersections of injustice she faced—from becoming one of the many black mothers facing infant mortality to aggressive policing to poor legal representation to environmental racism to lack of access to quality healthcare, and so much more. It’s infuriating to think of how Sabrina was treated and how many more people there are in similar positions.
Sabrina now lives in Memphis, Tennessee, is blessed with three thriving children, and serves on the board of Witness to Innocence. She speaks as often as she can to the public and media about her heartbreaking experience and works tirelessly to end the death penalty and change the way law enforcement interacts with children.
Learn more about Sabrina's story by purchasing her memoir, Exonerated :The Sabrina Butler Story.
With sincere gratitude to Ms. Sabrina, that's a wrap. Please subscribe on iTunes and leave a comment. Thanks for joining us!
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Hosts: Wagatwe Wanjuki, Irna Landrum
Guest: Sabrina Butler-Smith
Producers: Aaron Rand Freeman, Monique Teal
Music: MannMade Music & Visuals