Antonio Yarbough spent the first two days of freedom largely at a loss for words. But the three words he said quietly over the phone in the hours immediately following his exoneration for the 1992 murder of his mother, his sister and a family friend, spoke volumes about the man’s character and faith.
“God is just,” he said.
“Just” is the root of the word of justice, which arrived for Yarbough 22 years late on Feb. 6, 2014. That’s when a Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice found Yarbough, 42, and his co-defendant, Sharrif Wilson, then 37, innocent.
Just two days after his release, Yarbough was a featured guest on CNN with Piers Morgan.
While bitterness at the injustice would be normal, Yarbough steadfastly clung to his faith, both during several years of emotional ups and downs awaiting exoneration despite DNA evidence that proved his innocence and since his release adapting to life outside that had largely left him behind.
Yarbough has been an impassioned spokesperson for prison reform.
Yarbough has advocated for the closure of the Super Maximum prison, Attica Correctional Facility. Having spent his entire adulthood inside Attica before his exoneration, Yarbough is uniquely qualified to speak to the brutal conditions in the infamous New York prison.
Yarbough is a board member of CriminalU.com, an all-volunteer platform that humanizes those behind bars. He has spoken for The Innocence Project. He volunteered for Corrections of New York and is now aligned with Alliance of Families for Justice where he will mentor re-entering citizens.