Monday, May 19, 2008

DNA cleared them, but they'll never be free

That rarest of rarities: A must-read CNN story telling the sad story of Willie Fountain, who was cleared by DNA evidence five years ago of an aggravated rape charge. Today he's homeless and recently has disappeared. Also, here's an earlier related story featuring James Woodard, another Dallas man who was recently released after spending more than 27 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.

See these individual quotes and short status reports of what happened to other innocent Dallas men released from prison after being exonerated by DNA testing.

RELATED: See the website of the newly created Life After Exoneration Program


kbp said...

Punishment is the main objective for having prisons.

Since the majority that go in were not doing well moving ahead in life anyway, you would hope there would be more help to get them headed in the right direction if release is ever anticipated.

It's worse when they should not have been in prison, often leaving them a couple steps or more further back than they were.

Stephen said...

These stories just leave me feeling terribly sad. More should be done.

SB said...

If prisoners are treated like animals for 20 years we can't expect them to come out and behave like humans.

I remember when Texans were willing to give folks and hand up rather than a kick in the teeth. Then we started a love affair with punishment and went into mass producing unemployable individuals. Prisons and punishment are necessary but there are other solutions. If Texans had to choose between school and prisons our schools would be empty.
I read somewhere that the IQ level is dropping with each generation. If this is our best we can expect less in the future.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I do understand that people make mistakes, but when you make a huge mistake and incarcerate people incorrectly and then release them....and then being homeless and not sure where to start and by age you have aged with no feel doomed, you have seen doom and therefore you become what is now in your head and heart - doomed.