June 30, 2022

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How Maryland prisoners took on the governor

2 min read

Walter Lomax was wrongfully imprisoned in the state of Maryland for 39 years until he eventually had his conviction vacated by a judge in 2006. While he was incarcerated and fighting for his freedom, Lomax worked with other inmates on the long process of lobbying for a bill in the state legislature that would end Maryland’s designation as one of only three states—along with California and Oklahoma—that granted the governor the power to veto parole recommendations made by the parole commission. In December of 2021, that fight finally ended and the Maryland legislature stripped the governor’s power to overturn parole decisions for inmates serving life sentences.

In this episode of Rattling the Bars, TRNN Executive Producer Eddie Conway and cohost-in-training Charles Hopkins, better known as Mansa Musa, speak with Walter Lomax about his incarceration and the long fight to change Maryland’s parole system. After being fully exonerated in 2014, Walter Lomax became the face of the effort to fix the state’s compensation system for wrongfully convicted and imprisoned Marylanders, culminating in the passage of “The Walter Lomax Act” in 2021. He is also the founder and executive director of the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that advocates for humane and sensible criminal justice and sentencing policies for those incarcerated long term in Maryland prisons.

Read the transcript of this interview:

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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