Massasoit to Host Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform Sean Ellis for Virtual Conversation
Feb. 2, 2021 – Massasoit Community College welcomes the public to its 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. event: A Conversation with Sean Ellis, on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. The Netflix documentary Trial 4 follows the case of Ellis, who in 1993 was charged in the murder of a Boston police officer. Ellis has maintained his innocence, and while fighting for his freedom, has brought to light issues of systemic racism.
“This event is an opportunity to learn about Mr. Ellis’s advocacy efforts related to statewide policy changes around criminal justice reform, as well as the importance of allyship and perseverance,” said Yolanda Dennis, chief diversity officer at Massasoit. “It’s an honor to have Mr. Ellis and his Attorneys Rosemary Scapicchio and Jillise McDonough speak to the Massasoit community and anyone who shares our commitment to racial and social justice, awareness, and inclusivity.”
Sentenced to life in prison, Ellis always proclaimed his innocence. He spent 21 years, 7 months, and 29 days behind bars until a judge in 2015 ruled “justice was not done.” She overturned his murder conviction and freed him on bail. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts vowed to try him again — a fourth time – and in December 2018 the Suffolk County District Attorney dropped the murder charge against Ellis but stopped short of fully exonerating him.
Massasoit is also hosting screenings of the eight chapters of Trial 4, which tell Ellis’s full story. The event and screenings are free, open to the public, and will be held virtually via Zoom. Attendees are asked to register in advance for the Conversation with Sean Ellis.
These efforts are sponsored by Massasoit’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Year of Social Justice, the Massasoit Film Society, and Massasoit Libraries. Massasoit’s Year of Social Justice is rooted in the college’s commitment to fostering an inclusive community.