It is with both deep sadness and many warm memories that we share the news of the passing of our friend and partner in advocating for the wrongfully convicted, Calvin C. Johnson Jr. He was 65 years old.
As the first person in the state of Georgia to be freed by DNA evidence (with the help of the Innocence Project), Calvin and GIP would understandably come to be partners in fighting for justice for those convicted of crimes they did not commit. Not only was Calvin a member of GIP’s board, but he was also Chair of our board, making him the first exoneree ever to hold the position across the entire Innocence Network.
Working with Calvin over the years was an honor, but getting to be his friend? That’s what really made us lucky. Calvin became known as a leader at GIP, always among the first to greet newly released exonerees and offer a listening ear and helping hand any time of the day or night. His uncanny ability to captivate and connect with anyone and everyone made Calvin an extremely effective advocate and enabled us to educate tens of thousands of people over the years. But what we will miss most about Calvin is his contagious laugh, unmatched warmth, and vitality.
We celebrate the life of this beautiful soul and mourn together with his family and friends and everyone whose life was blessed by his.
We love you, Calvin. Rest in peace.
A Celebration of Life Service for Calvin will be on Thursday, January 26, 2023, 11:00 A.M., at Zion Hill Baptist Church, 6175 Campbellton Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30331. You can join virtually at the time of the service here.
A Public Viewing will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM at Alfonso Dawson Mortuary.