Prison inmate paints Obama, gets clemency some 20 years later

In 1997, Fulton Washington was sentenced to life in prison for non-violent offenses. He says he was wrongfully convicted. In prison, he taught himself how to paint. In 2014, he made a painting based on the portrait of Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. But instead of Lincoln, he painted President Obama. In 2016, Obama granted Washington clemency. His story is told in a new short documentary called “Mr. Wash.”

"Emancipation Proclamation" by Fulton Washington. 

Fulton Washington holding his painting. Credit: Sean Mattison.


Fulton Washington - Artist, and the subject of the documentary "Mr. Wash", Bayon Washington - daughter of Fulton Washington

Madeleine Brand

Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Christian Bordal, Quinn O'Toole, Yael Even Or, Devan Schwartz