Press Release (ePRNews.com) - MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Jul 26, 2017 - Tyrone Keys of All Sports Community Service, Inc. in Tampa, Florida will lead a group of youth football players on a two-day trip that has little to do with passing and running and everything to do with forgiveness, empathy and life.
Keys, in a partnership with four of the alumni he has mentored over the years, will take players from the Jackson Heights Youth Center, Junior Bucs and Brandon Bears programs to Montgomery, Ala., on July 26-27, where they will meet with acclaimed public interest lawyer and author Bryan Stevenson and hear the story of Tampa native Ian Manuel.
As a 13-year-old, the same age of some of the players he will speak to, Manuel shot Debbie Baigrie outside of a downtown Tampa club in a botched robbery attempt. The shot proved to be non life-threatening, but it shattered Baigrie’s jaw and face.
Tried as an adult, Manuel plead guilty after being told by his defense attorney he would receive a 15-year sentence. Instead, the teen was sentenced to life in prison.
Amazingly, Baigrie found it in her heart to forgive Manuel and during his incarceration they developed a friendship. She fought for his release over the years. It’s a story of redemption that’s been chronicled by People magazine, the Today show and many other major media outlets.
Stevenson’s Equal Justice Institute, based in Montgomery, took on Manuel’s case and argued that it is cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 13-year-old child to die in prison. On October 29, 2010, EJI won a unanimous ruling from a Florida Court of Appeal, which concluded that juveniles convicted of attempted murder cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Manuel earned his release in November 2016 and Baigrie was there to greet him. He entered the institute’s program that helps former child inmates adapt to life outside prison.
Now Manuel, Baigrie and Stevenson will share this story of forgiveness and redemption with the youth football players in Montgomery, Alabama at the EJI offices located at 122 Commerce Street. In an unplanned coincidence, the meeting will occur 27 years to the date of the shooting.
The students also will visit the Civil Rights Memorial, which honors 41 people who died during the Civil Rights Movement. Keys and three of his All-Sports alumni — Ricky Sailor, Jasmine Tramel and Jamal Jefferson — are funding the trip.
Visit People Magazine coverage of their story at http://people.com/crime/ian-manuel-released-life-post-pri… for more details.
Visit Today show coverage of their story at http://www.today.com/kindness/mom-helps-get-man-who-shot-… for more details.
All Sports Community Service, Inc.,