Posts Tagged ‘Innocence Project’
Dewey Bozella was convicted twice of a 1977 murder he didn’t commit. For 26 years he was in prison, refusing to admit to a crime he had no part in. While serving time Bozella got his bachelor’s degree and a master’s in theology, became the light heavyweight boxing champion at Sing Sing, and got married.
In 2007 a law firm took on Bozella’s case pro bono and finally after many years Bozella was found innocent and released.
After leaving prison I didn’t have any problems socializing, because I am a people person. I don’t meet strangers and can function well in most given situations involving people. I had a solid team of eight to ten people who had agreed to be my transition team and help me during my adjustment. All of them had agreed to be a “phone call away,” and promised to help me with any challenges I that i was facing.
I immediately became involved in the activities and events that were close to my heart. I hosted a radio talk show, was a co-host for a tv talk show, assisted in developing town hall and community meetings, worked with organizations that were focused on helping people who had been incarcerated for long periods of time. I became involved in ministries and men’s groups (all of which helped me to develop a personal foundation in society), and a public speaking organization like Toastmasters International. As a motivational speaker I travelled the country, but i also became a board member of organizations like the Innocence Project of New Orleans, La. Coalition for Reform, the Freedom Project, the Teen Summit, the Prison Foundation, am a Senior Justice Fellow with the Soros Foundation, etc., etc. All of these things helped me in my transition. I lived an active life as a leader in prison and I knew that is what I needed to do in society.
There was, however, something that was a challenge for me. I noticed, when I was first released from prison, that I began to have feelings of apprehension when the sun would begin to set. There was a part of me that really didn’t want to be out after dark because I didn’t want to be anywhere where someone might falsely accuse me of anything. Those feelings remained with me for several months, but when I began to travel they begin to diminish.
In the midst of all of my activities stood my transition team of men and women who vowed to help me during my transition. They were true to their word, and were always merely a “phone call away.”
In 2004 Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas. Until his death he claimed his innocence. Now, years later, a New Yorker article investigates Willingham’s case and finds that there is forensic proof that Willingham was indeed innocent.
Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project writes an article for the Huffington Post about the need to improve on forensic testing in the United States. Read the article here.
And read the New Yorker expose here.
The New Yorker makes a mention this week about the ongoing problem of false confessions. In particular, this article talks about the Norfolk Four and the Innocence’s Project’s work to exonerate the innocent. Check out the article here.
After two decades of struggling to reverse his wrongful conviction, Paul House has been cleared in Tennessee. Read more about how the Innocence Project worked to release him from death row.
To learn more about the Innocence Project visit their website.