Can you imagine being accused of a crime, convicted and then serving the longest possible sentence? It would be a miserable situation, and you’d probably fight to prove that you were innocent the entire time. That’s what happened in this case.
Freedom is in the air for a man from the Bronx who spent 25 years of his life behind bars for a crime that he did not commit. According to the news from Jan. 28, the 60-year-old man cried out of joy as he left the courtroom after having a rape conviction vacated.
The man had been accused of a rape that took place in 1984 in East Harlem. If he pleaded guilty at the time, he would have spent 1.5 to three years in prison. He decided instead to maintain his innocence, and he was told he would have to face trial.
He ended up being convicted and sentenced to between eight and a third and 25 years in prison. The shocking thing about that was that the man didn’t even match the appearance or description of the alleged rapist. The victim even came out to say that the man who raped her was an acquaintance that went by the name of Ronnie.
Shockingly, the man in this case served all 25 years before he was able to be released on parole in 2009. He fought all the while to prove that he was innocent. With DNA testing, the Innocence Project reported that he was finally excluded as the possible attacker.
Cases like this hold prosecutors, the authorities and the overall justice system accountable. This kind of situation should never happen to an innocent person.