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Jennifer Cannino speaker

Jennifer Cannino

speaker location icon North Carolina, USA

Social activist and campaigner

Best-selling author, "Cotton Picking" (2010)

Member of the Actual Innocence Commission

Jennifer Cannino is an open opponent of the death penalty and speaks frequently about the need for judicial reform.

Her strong convictions were born of a brutal rape she suffered as a twenty-two year old college student. It was her compelling testimony in that case that sent a young man to prison, not once, but twice, for a crime he did not commit. That man, Ronald Cotton, was eventually freed thanks in large part to his persistence in proclaiming his innocence and the development of sophisticated DNA tests. Together, they successfully lobbied state legislators to change compensation laws for the wrongly convicted.

She is now a member of the Actual Innocence Commission, a member of the advisory committee for Active Voices, a member of the Constitution Project and Mother’s for Justice. Her op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Durham-Herald Sun, and the Tallahassee Democrat.

Our Comment

"Jennifer's book, "Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption" (Griffin, 2010), tells the story of the unlikely friendship and bond between herself and Ronald. She regularly speaks before a variety of audiences about race, class, judicial reform, human error, and forgiveness."

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