Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Imagine Losing 19 Years Of Freedom

This article by Bill Moushey from the Post-Gazette covers the release of Thomas Doswell who was released from prison yesterday after serving 19 years for a rape he did not commit.

Imagine for a moment spending 19 years confined to prison for a crime you didn't commit. While you know you are innocent, courts have found otherwise, shaking the faith of your family and friends. While your children were growing up, you were biding your time, writing letters and accepting visitors. You missed birthdays, and scraped knees, weddings and funerals. You never had to go to the grocery store and complain about the quality of produce or stop for an ice cream cone on the way home. When he was convicted, Thomas Doswell was 25 years old, and when he was released he was 44.

Since 1992, Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck (of the O.J. Simpson dream team), have worked on The Innocence Project, to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing. Thomas Doswell is the 106th person and 6th this year to be exonerated with the assistance of this program -- which often faces police, victim, and community opposition to reopening the cases for DNA testing.

It's very disturbing to think that the justice system can get thigs so wrong and scary to imagine being wrongfully imprisoned, sacrificing your life as punishment for the crimes of others. It definately made me pause and think about the most basic freedom that we enjoy.

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