JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — One of the greatest players inbasketball drove down a narrow strip of blacktop called No More Victims Road. It led to a prison.
She parked in front of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, a maximum-security penitentiary in rural central Missouri. She walked through its heavy front doors on this May morning and stood in line with two dozen people: the parents, children, grandchildren and friends of inmates.
Some had come to know her, Maya Moore of the W.N.B.A., but no one in the tense, hushed room paid her any mind.
Each visitor, including Moore, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time N.C.A.A. champion and four-time W.N.B.A. titlist, waited to be escorted by armed guards into a large room full of convicted men.
Moore was there to see Inmate No. 101145. He is Jonathan Irons, serving 50 years. In 1998, a jury found him guilty of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. He was 16 when the crime occurred.
Moore is certain that Irons, now 39, was wrongly convicted. “No more victims,” she said, echoing the name of the roadway she had driven, which recognizes those done wrong by the men inside the prison. Her head shook in chagrin. “Every time I come here, I think of that. The hypocrisy.”
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