Maya Moore doesn’t lose very often. Both in basketball and outside of the court. The Lynx star is currently taking a hiatus from basketball as she focuses on other ventures in life. She missed the entirety of the 2019 WNBA season and is expected to miss the 2020 season as well, but a big reason is her work in the criminal justice system.
Moore has used her time away from basketball to work with Jonathan Irons, a man in Missouri that was arrested for burglary and assault at age 16 and tried as an adult. Moore and Irons’ lawyer have worked to prove that he was wrongfully convicted. According to them, there was no evidence such as fingerprints or DNA at the scene that connected Irons to the crimes, only a victim claiming it was him.
And now it seems that hard work and advocacy has paid off for Irons, as ESPN’s Katie Barnes reported on Monday that Irons’ initial conviction has been overturned.
“This day has been a long time coming,” Moore said following the conclusion of the hearing. “We are just so grateful and thankful to God and to everybody who has played a role in bringing justice.”
Judge Daniel Green’s ruling granted Irons’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus, vacating his convictions for burglary and assault. He placed a stay on the order, allowing the state 15 days to request a review by the appellate court. If the state does not appeal, then St. Charles County has 30 days to decide if it wants to retry Irons.
“It’s a very good day,” said Irons’ attorney Kent Gipson. “But it’s not quite over yet.”
There is still a chance he can re-tried for the crimes, but for now Irons is a free man. Moore has been using her time away from basketball to be more active in her activism. Irons was always a personal case for her that she wanted to take part in and it will be interesting to see if she continues down this path now that she’s achieved one of the biggest missions of her hiatus.