Alan Bean, Executive Director. Since 2000, Alan has served as executive director of Friends of Justice, an organization that creates a powerful synergy between grassroots organizing, civil rights advocacy, the legal community, the mass media and ultimately the political establishment. Friends of Justice is committed to building a new moral consensus for ending mass incarceration. Friends of Justice sparked organizing effort in Jena, Louisiana and brought the case to the attention of the mainstream media and the blogosphere. More recently, our unrelenting advocacy for Curtis Flowers provided the template for a twenty-episode podcast, In the Dark led to a dramatic unraveling of a case that stretched through six separate trials and twenty-three years of wrongful incarceration.
Dr. Bean is currently telling the story of Shaun Cooks, a Texas man who has been in prison since 2009 for allegedly assaulting an officer. The evidence against Mr. Cooks is scandalously weak, but nothing short of a complete telling of his life story, a deep dive into regional history, and a careful assessment of the many law scandals involving local law enforcement can explain why an innocent man is serving a life sentence.
Dr. Bean has been quoted extensively in leading publications such as Newsweek, The Washington Post, USA Today, La Monde and The Chicago Tribune and CNN and his work with Friends of Justice been featured in the religious media outlets such as EthicsDaily.com and writes a monthly column for Baptist News Global.
Alan is the author of Taking out the Trash in Tulia, Texas, an insider account of the events surrounding the Tulia drug sting. “What distinguishes Taking out the Trash,” a reviewer notes, “is one’s sense that Bean has been an honest broker, and that despite the locale and feeling of dusty streets around you, it’s the story of how most people in this country feel about those tagged as criminals.”
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