Sunday, July 30, 2006

Life After Exoneration

The Dallas Morning News tells the story of how Greg Wallis has been coping since being released from prison. Several months ago, one of my old colleagues was successful in exonerating Mr. Wallis after he had served 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. But that was just the beginning of a difficult process of trying to re-enter society--a society in which he is still a convicted rapist until the Governor can bother to act on his pardon request. How do you explain to potential employers that 18-year gap in your employment history? How many of them will be willing to take a chance on someone who was convicted of sexual assault--even if science now proves that he was innocent? And how does a man adjust to being free after living in an institution for over 18 years? These are just some of the issues facing men and women like Greg Wallis all across this country. It is easy for prosecutors and onlookers, when they see an exoneration like Wallis', to say that the "system worked." But, the system took 18 years of his life, and them spit him out into the world again to fend for himself.

If you are interested in helping those who have been released after a wrongful conviction, please contact the Life After Exoneration Program.

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