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The Sunday Read: ‘I Write About the Law. But Could I Really Help Free a Prisoner?’


In 2019, Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, began communicating with Yutico Briley, an inmate at a prison in Jackson, La.

Mr. Briley first reached out to Ms. Bazelon after hearing her on the radio talking about “Charges,” her book on how prosecutors have historically used their power to increase incarceration.

At age 19, Mr. Briley was imprisoned and sentenced to 60 years without the possibility of parole, in part, for a robbery he said he did not commit.

Ms. Bazelon decided to become involved in his case in a way that she had never done before.

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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Anna Diamond, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Tanya Perez, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison and Kate Winslett. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.

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