Philadelphia, Sept. 25, 2018
It’s an incredible story – and though it reads like it could only be fiction, it’s absolutely true. It’s an inspiring story of hope and human resilience – but it also sheds light on a disturbing aspect of life in America that few people pay attention to.
Far before anyone could ever have expected that a corrupt and uncaring justice system would snatch JIMMY from his future, his young children and his dreams, he was well on the way to the heights of musical success. In 1991, Jimmy Dennis was 21 years old, and the singer and principal member of an up and coming R&B band called Sensation. Rising stars in their home town of Philadelphia, they had won several professional competitions and were literally on the cusp of stardom, in talks with several labels about a record deal. Before the band could sign, Jimmy was wrongfully arrested, learned he was being charged with the murder of a stranger, and entered into a living nightmare that would include approaching execution dates, and 23 lonely hours – every day – alone in a cell.
JIMMY spent nearly three decades as an innocent man in that Pennsylvania death row cell. In all that time there were only three things on his mind: his family, clearing his name and – just as importantly – what he would share with the world when he finally got out, as he always knew he would. He thought of the words he would say and the songs he would sing…they played through his head a thousand times. For twenty five years he never lost focus. He was determined that his story – his life – would not end this way. He had a family to get back to, dreams to realize, music to make…but first, he had to clear his name.
It wasn’t until 2013, when U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, threw out Jimmy’s conviction, writing in her history making decision that the state had “committed a grave miscarriage of justice” and that Dennis was “in all probability innocent,” that the world learned what his supporters had been saying all along. In 2017, he was finally released from that death row cell, to the relief and celebration of his family, friends, lawyers, and supporters around the world.
The last year hasn’t always been easy, but he’s been reconnecting with family, successfully building a life outside prison walls, and working to recover from the trauma being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for more than two decades inflicts on the human soul.
And, as JIMMY and his team revealed to the public today, he’s been doing something else, too. He’s been going back to his roots. He’s been in the studio again, and now he is ready to share his music – his message – with the world.
“U Said,” with its yearning, heartfelt, passionate vocals expressing love from the deepest of places grabs the listener by both the heart and the soul. It touches the heart, it can bring one to tears – whether you know the singer’s story, or whether it just touches a chord in your own life or experience. This song is not easily forgotten – and industry watchers say it could catapult JIMMY from death row to the Grammy ceremonies – and that it won’t be long until he takes his place beside today’s hottest music stars.
JIMMY’s supporters say that doesn’t surprise them in the slightest. After all, that was supposed to happen a long time ago.
Once in those years the Canadian couple who created the Justice For Jimmy Campaign in 1998 were able to record him over the phone singing a lullaby to share with his daughter, a child at the time – but during his time on death row he didn’t have the heart to raise his voice in song.
Now, after a year of freedom and time in the studio, he has the will and the passion to not only express himself, but to reach people – to make them care…to make them think.
What happened to JIMMY could have happened to anyone in America.
Last year, when he finally regained his freedom, he took his life back.
Today, JIMMY reclaims his voice.
In a statement released on social media, Dennis said: “I hope people will visit the link, purchase the song, and help me take the first step in reclaiming my dreams.”