The stories Alix did about people living meaningful lives after prison led J.'s editor to ask her to write about James "Sneaky" White, a Vietnam Veteran serving year 37 of a life-without-parole sentence for killing the violent ex-husband of his wife, Nancy. As an inmate, White founded a college program at Ironwood State Prison, which has been responsible for educating over 1,500 men. Now every prison in the state has such a program, largely due to the success of his. Alix went to meet him in Vacaville's California Medical Facility in January, and her story about him came out in late March. When an investigator from Governor Jerry Brown's office came to meet Sneaky two months after the story appeared, he told him that Brown and his senior staff had all read the story about him in the Jewish newspaper. In August, his case went to the state parole board in Sacramento, where Alix joined 12 others -- mostly Vietnam Vets and men whose lives had been greatly impacted by him in prison -- testifying on his behalf. Later that day, The parole board approved his pardon, and then in November, the state supreme court approved it as well. His was among the commutations that Brown issued right before Christmas, and the next step is for him to meet with the parole board, which will happen in 2019. Alix has been featured talking about the case on the podcast Unorthodox. Meeting Sneaky as well as being the one to bring his story to a wider audience has been, by far, the most rewarding story of her career. The photo above was taken when Alix visited him in December, hoping it would be the last time.
"Team Sneaky" after testifying in Sacramento in front of the state parole board in August.