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Collision Conference: Criminal Justice Reform with Wyclef Jean

 

“We cannot let this be the new norm.”

Calling for a “new age of activism,” Lava Records CEO Jason Flom joined with friend Wyclef Jean on Wednesday (May 3) at the Collision Conference in New Orleans to discuss wrongful conviction and how to change a criminal justice system he called “a disaster.”

Flom, who is on the board of directors of the Innocence Project and hosts the podcast Wrongful Conviction, noted how attitudes have changed drastically since he started working on criminal justice reform in the ’90s. Skeptics once called him “Don Quixote, jousting at that shit,” he said, but now more colleagues realize “it’s our national disgrace.”

He encouraged Jean to share the story of his own recent arrest, when in late March he was handcuffed by the LAPD in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. Jean related how he’d recently taught his 12-year old daughter how to behave if she should ever encounter police, but that after his arrest she asked, “You did everything you taught me to do and he still put you in handcuffs; what do I do?” He told her: “Exactly the same thing I told you to do.”

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