If you haven't seen the interview of Jerry Miller on Bill Moyers Journal, I recommend that you watch it on line or read the transcript.
Jerry Miller served 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. When Jerry Miller was 22, he was picked up by police after an officer said he resembled a sketch of a Chicago rapist. Based on that misidentification, Miller was convicted and served 25 years before being released last year on parole, forced to register as a sex-offender.
Today, Miller represents the 200th person exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing, with the help of the Innocence Project: "a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice."
As I watched the interview, my emotions went from anger to despair. Jerry Miller was a solid citizen prior to his wrongful incarceration and would have made positive contributions during those 25 years of the prime of his life. There are more black men like Jerry Miller wasting away in prisons across America. What might they have contributed?
Between wrongful convictions and unjust sentencing disparities, black men continue to be locked up in record numbers, leaving their families and communities worse off for their absence in the long run.
Mr. Miller showed unbelievable grace as he talked about the nightmare from which he had finally been freed:
"But you know, a lot of people is living in nightmares. I'm not the only one that made it or that will make it, you know. I'm fortunate because I made it intact, mind, body and soul."
Cross posted at make it plain