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Octavia Carson (3L) Engages in Dialogue with Actress and Comedian Amanda Seales to an Audience of Amanda’s 981,000 Followers on Instagram Live

November 20, 2019

After Actress and Comedian Amanda Seales received backlash for a post she made about the Rodney Reed case, Thomas Jefferson School of Law student, Octavia Carson chimed in on the conversation. Seales and Carson engaged in dialogue that ranged from the topic of Rodney Reed’s case, the innocence project’s work, rape crimes, and the need for more diverse attorneys.

When Carson saw Seale’s video on Sunday, November 18 she said, “I was worried that the general population would take Seale’s video out of context and then stop supporting organizations like the Innocence Project and ACLU.”

Carson is currently a third year law student. She worked on habeas corpus petitions when she was an extern for Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin in her second year of law school.

“I requested to go live on Instagram with Amanda because I believed that I needed to have a say in the conversation since I have a legal background,” Carson said. “I know that most people do not have the type of understanding of the criminal justice system that lawyers and law students have so I wanted to try to use what I have learned to teach others.”

The Rodney Reed case was picked up by the innocence project almost 18 years ago. The case has recently gained more media attention when a petition cycled around the internet calling for a stay of his execution. Many news outlets have covered the story over the last few days.

“People need to empower themselves with more knowledge about our criminal justice system and I would encourage them to even go to law school if they are passionate about creating change,” Carson said.

Carson is a U.S. Navy Veteran, Editor-in-Chief of the Thomas Jefferson Law Review, and an Intellectual Property Fellow who has received several scholarships from bar associations throughout her time in law school.