Jarrett M. Adams was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault at age 17 and sentenced to 28 years in a maximum security prison. After serving nearly 10 years and filing multiple appeals, Jarrett was exonerated with the assistance of the Wisconsin Innocence Project.
Jarrett used the injustice he endured as inspiration to become an advocate for the underserved and often uncounted. As a first step, Jarrett earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in May 2015 and started a public interest law fellowship with Ann Claire Williams, judge for the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. This is the same court that reversed Jarrett’s conviction because of his trial lawyer’s constitutional deficiencies.
Jarrett’s remarkable story has captured both local and national media attention. At one point #JarrettAdams was trending on both Facebook and Twitter.
An adjunct professor at the Loyola University law school from 2014 to 2015, Jarrett is a recipient of the 2012 Chicago Bar Foundation’s Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Scholarship.
He also won the National Defender Investigator Association Investigator of the Year award for his work with the clemency petition of Reynolds Wintersmith ultimately granted by President Obama.
Going from inmate to exoneree to law student to law fellow, Jarrett has a unique perspective to share. A thought-leader in those areas, Jarrett continuously contributes to the ongoing discussion around prison reform and wrongful convictions.
Jarrett joined the Innocence Project’s litigation department as the department's first Post-Conviction Litigation Fellow in July 2016. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Jarrett co-founded a not for profit called Life After Justice geared toward advocating for the rights of the wrongfully convicted once released.
His story of incarceration, exoneration and redemption has been featured widely in the media, and he has become a sought-after motivational speaker for athletes, students, inmates, attorneys and others.