Jonathan Irons 50-year sentence was overturned on Monday and it has the women's basketball community celebrating.
WNBA All-Star and former MVP, Maya Moore, has been vocal on her intent to back Irons and what she believed was a wrongful conviction of an assault with a weapon and burglary. Moore put her dominant career on hold announcing that she would miss the 2019 season and recently stated her intent to sit again in 2020 to aid in Irons release from prison.
Winner on court, winner in court.
We're proud of you, Maya.
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) March 10, 2020
Irons was sentenced when he was 16 years old in 1998. A minor at the time, he was tried as an adult and found guilty by an all-white jury. Now 39, he served 23 years of his 50 year sentence. He was said to have been identified as the person responsible for the crimes according to the victim but there was no evidence to back the claim.
Moore and Irons met over 15 years ago in 2007 before her collegiate career at Connecticut during volunteer prison ministry work. The two have grown close over the years as Moore's interest in prison reform and Iron's case in particular tugged at her heart. Her decision to focus on these matters have been taken respectfully throughout the community.
Moore announced at the end of January that she would sit out the 2020 season with the Minnesota Lynx and would pass on an opportunity to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Once news of Iron's conviction was overturned, speculation began on if she would indeed be able to play, but Moore stood by her decision to sit out. She will revisit the possibility of returning to the WNBA the spring of 2021.