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Maya Moore helps get Jonathan Irons’s conviction overturned

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WNBA star Maya Moore took two seasons off from basketball to fight for a man she believed was wrongfully convicted. On Monday, that hard work paid off. 

Jonathan Irons served 22 years of a 50-year sentence for his convictions for burglary and assault, which were expunged on Monday. A judge granted Irons’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. 

The legal process is not quite over yet, however. The state of Missouri has 15 days to request an appellate court overview. If the state decides not to issue that appeal, then the county has the next month to decide whether to retry Irons, who was a teenager at the time of the incident.

Irons’s lawyers told The New York Times that his case had no corroborating witnesses, forensic evidence or physical evidence that connected Irons to the crime. 

A key piece of evidence for the state was a confession Irons allegedly made to a detective, admitting that he had broken into the house and committed the crime, but that he could not remember anything else because he was drunk.

Irons has denied ever making that confession since the allegation was raised. The detective did not testify at the trial due to illness and has since died. 

Irons, a black man, was sentenced by an all-white jury.

“This day has been a long time coming,” Moore told reporters following the verdict. “We are just so grateful and thankful to God and to everybody who has played a role in bringing justice.”

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