From prisoners to restaurateurs: owners of Brownstone

- If you like good food seasoned in the spirit of redemption, you need to check out a new spot in Downtown Brooklyn called Brownstone.

Co-owners Derrick Hamilton and Shabaka Shakur share a bond that began while locked up behind bars for crimes that neither committed. Hamilton has a noteworthy distinction. He is known as one of the top jailhouse lawyers in the country.

Inside, the two approached prison and the work that ultimately set them free with an almost surgical focus. The two created a team inside known as Actual Innocence, or AI for short. In December 2011, Hamilton was released after 21 years and exonerated January of 2015.

But Shakur was still locked up. On June 4, 2015, Shakur was released from prison after a judge ruled the detective in the case lied.

Today the two men work as trusted wrongful conviction aides at major New York City law firms. And on this evening at the Brownstone, their restaurant that opened two weeks ago thanks in part the settlement money both received, they show me what is on the menu. The mood is light.

Redemption is sweet and it's said that times heals all. But nothing beats freedom or answers the question: How many Derrick Hamiltons or Shabaka Shakurs are there?

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