James Gibson was sentenced to life in prison after being falsely convicted of murder.
Despite facing numerous challenges and a lengthy legal battle, he eventually won his freedom and was completely exonerated. Since his release, he has been working to help others and has turned to music to spread positivity.
Together with 3Z Music House and artist Lauren Dionne, he created the song “Mama, Can You Hear Me?” inspired by the 10,000 letters he wrote to his mother, Clara Gibson, during his time in prison.
Clara, who was deaf, supported her son wholeheartedly and visited him in prison as often as possible.
According to Newsweek, James Gibson was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1991.
At the time of his arrest, Gibson was 23 years old and home for the holidays when he was taken into custody for a double slaying at a garage.
While in custody, he was subjected to torture by detectives under the command of former police commander Jon Burge, who was known for leading a group of officers known as the “midnight crew” in the torture of over 100 suspects, mostly Black men, to obtain false confessions between 1972 and 1991.
Gibson, who is Black, said that he was beaten, punched, kicked, and had his ribs fractured and a tattoo burned off his arm while being held for 98 hours. He gave a false confession to stop the torture, which was later used to convict him. Despite facing significant challenges, Gibson became a “jailhouse lawyer” and fought to have his conviction overturned.
Tragically, Clara passed away before James was released. In honor of his mother, James founded the Clara and James Gibson Foundation, a charitable organization that aims to advocate for incarcerated prisoners and their families and bring about meaningful change in the current broken and abusive system.
All proceeds from the song, available on Apple Music and YouTube, will go towards the foundation.