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Zavion Johnson is an exoneree who served half his life falsely accused and imprisoned at the age of 19. After losing his trial, Zavion was unfortunately convicted of the false charges and sentenced to double life and sent off to serve his sentence at the most deadly maximum security level IV facilities, surrounded by some of the most hardened criminals. Being an innocent man, Zavion fought tirelessly to regain his freedom by filing numerous court documents. In addition, Zavion wrote to many organizations who he felt could help him gain his freedom.

After making no headway with his appeals, Zavion decided to focus on his future self. He started to attend church, self-help groups, and was also enrolled in a vocational electrical program. Finally, in 2014, Zavion finally heard from the Northern California Innocence Project, an organization he had written to years prior. An attorney from NCIP, Paige Kaneb, visited him in prison to hear his story but made no promises. After about a year, Zavion’s hope for freedom increased. He now had a legal team of six who all made it clear that they were invested in helping him prove his innocence, which was lost due to false expert testimony.

Since his exoneration in late 2017, Zavion has been adjusting to life outside, while continuing to heal. He has also spent time educating California state legislators, attorneys, college students and law school student to ensure that no one else will suffer the injustice he endured. Zavion sits on the advisory board of Exonerated Nation, a nonprofit organization which helps exonerees like him with after care and re-entry services. During his speaking engagements, he connects with his audience as he shares honestly about his story of faith, survival and healing.