Cyrus Wilson and Dawn Deaner Discuss Injustice in Nashville
Today on the Public Defenseless Podcast, it was my honor to speak with Cyrus Wilson and Dawn Deaner. In 1993, Cyrus, only a teenager, was arrested and charged with the murder of Christopher Luckett. Determined to get "their guy", the Nashville police department coerced witnesses and ignored key evidence all in order to build a case against Cyrus. Despite the weakness of their case and the inconsistencies of their witnesses (who themselves were mostly teenagers as well), Cyrus' public defender failed to investigate the case in any meaningful way. This incompetent counsel facilitated the wrongful conviction of Cyrus Wilson, and sadly, it would not be the last time his counsel failed him. Throughout his appeal and post conviction, Cyrus would again and again be appointed counsel who simply did not seem to care about the life of their client. Leaning on her 20|PLUS| years of experience in public defense, Dawn reveals how the criminal legal system of Tennessee enables such an injustice.
Throughout this entire episode, Cyrus and Dawn unveiled just how easy it is for our system to indifferently cast aside a human life based on the biases and cruelty of those in the legal profession. Yet, the resolve and courage that Cyrus displayed thorough it all truly left me in awe. I remark at both the start and end of the episode, but it is rare to meet someone with the unwavering conviction that Cyrus possesses. How many of us would admit to something we did not do if our freedom was on the line? How many of us would take the path of least resistance, when it meant sacrificing the truth? These are questions to consider as you listen to the story of the Wrongful Conviction of Cyrus Wilson.
Listen to the episode: