In 1995, Kuantay Reed is convicted of a murder he says he did not commit. He was sent to Angola Prison in Louisiana, at the site of a former plantation, where he was forced to spend years working in the fields, a job that Kuantay calls “modern day slavery”. Professor Andrea Armstrong has been traveling to Angola for years, documenting its history and talking to prisoners about their lives there. She talks about prison labor programs and the indignities faced by inmates.
After fighting for years to have his conviction overturned, Reeder’s case has little legal hope. But in 2020, New Orleans is electing a new district attorney, Jason Williams, which promises to heed the city’s history of unjust prosecutions. Williams speaks with the Guardian’s US Southern bureau chief, Olivier Laughlandabout his electoral victory and his promises of reform.