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After serving 25 years for a crime he did not commit, an exonerated man tells his story

On Louisiana Considered, we hear the story of Cedric Dent, who was recently released from prison after a wrongful conviction kept him behind bars for a quarter-century. We also learn more about Court Appointed Special Advocates – or CASAs – and why Louisiana is currently facing a shortage of these volunteers. This segment of Louisiana Considered aired on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. To listen to the full episode, click the play button above.

On August 8, the state of Louisiana moved to vacate Cedric Dent’s conviction after he spent 25 years in prison for a fatal shooting he did not commit. Mr. Dent had been convicted of the murder of Anthony A. Milton in 1997, but the verdict was decided by a non-unanimous jury, which has since been deemed unconstitutional.

Cedric Dent, his mother Earline Brooks Colbert, and member of his legal team Meredith Angelsen, who is the director of Special Projects at the Innocence Project New Orleans, join us for more on this case, wrongful convictions, and the importance of getting innocent people out of the prison system.

CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are volunteers from the community who are trained to represent the interests of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. But right now, CASA faces a volunteer shortage at a time when the need is the greatest.

Capital Area CASA executive director Allison Traxler and program manager Jacqueline Wilson tell us more about the importance of this program and how community members can get involved.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karen Henderson. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubry Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Karen Henderson is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired nationally on NPR.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.