Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
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On-Demand Programs

Fighting Time - a talk with Isaac Knapper and Amy Banks

Recorded on April 12, 2021

On April 12, 1979, Ronald F. Banks, University of Maine professor and author of Maine Becomes a State: The Movement to Separate Maine from Massachusetts, was shot and killed outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sixteen-year-old Isaac Knapper was arrested, tried as an adult, and wrongly convicted of the murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola. In 1992, Isaac's conviction was overturned and in 2015 he met Dr. Bank’s daughter, Amy. It was an emotional meeting, and in the years since Isaac and Amy have maintained a strong friendship and healing connection and have worked to educate people about the impact that wrongful convictions can have on both the wrongfully convicted and the family of murdered victims. Their book, Fighting Time, will be available in the Fall of 2021. This discussion hosted by MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage with Isaac and Amy explores their story, their friendship, their work, and where Maine fits in the national dialogue of confronting systemic racism and justice. Hosted in partnership with the University of Maine Alumni Association.