Thursday, June 17, 2004

Getting a new start on life

There are several "known" categories of people who have been sent to death row. For example, there are the more than 900 people who have been executed in the United States since 1976. And there are 113 people who have been released from both death row and from prison due to actual, factual innocence. There is a lesser-known category of thousands of people formerly on death row whose convictions were overturned because of legal error. These folks often plea baragin or are retried and end up with life sentences.

Then there is one additional category that is rare indeed. The person who is sent to death row, who is obviously and definitely guilty of the crime for which he was convicted, but becomes a model inmate and, miraculous as it may seem, wins his parole.

Such is the story of Charlie Young:

"When I walked out of Baldwin State Prison, it was the hardest thing I had
to do," Young said. "I hated to leave those men behind. If it was up to
me, I would have brought them all with me ... there are a lot of good men
in prison. They just made some really bad choices."

To read the whole story go here and scroll down to Georgia.

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