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"Barry Jones: Free Bird" for The Intercept
molly peters
Jun 19, 2023
Location: Tucson, AZ
I was honored to work with Liliana Segura this week on a story that she'd been reporting on since 2017 for The Intercept - Barry Jones' release from Death Row, after serving 29 years for a murder he didn't commit. His conviction was overturned in 2018 based on evidence that wasn't presented at his first trial, which proved he was not responsible for the death of 4 year old Rachel Gray in the early 1990s, but the Supreme Court overturned that decision last year, against their own precedent, based on a technicality.

As Liliana details in the story here, the day didn't quite go according to plan, with corrections officers dropping Jones off unceremoniously at a Greyhound station in downtown Tucson with no phone, no money, and no idea where to go, after previously telling his family that he would be released from the jail and they could meet him there. But after a frantic search, he was found near his lawyers' office, where he was finally reunited with his family. It was incredible seeing the change in Jones from the courtroom to the interactions with his family and the portraits I made of him shortly before leaving his lawyers' office. I'm grateful that I was able to document the day.

Many thanks to Liliana Segura for her years of work reporting on Jones and others who've been wrongfully convicted, and to Elise Swain for bringing me on board for the story! You can see more photos from the story on my website.

A GoFundMe page created by Andrew Sowards, a retired investigator and one of Jones' staunchest advocates, is raising money for Jones as he adapts to life outside prison.  
Barry Jones Released From Arizona’s Death Row After 29 Years
The Supreme Court said his innocence didn’t matter. Jones was released thanks to a plea deal between his lawyers and the state.

Molly Peters Photography

Molly Peters is a Tucson-based photographer working in fine art photography and documentary storytelling.
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