A 40-year-old man from the Philadelphia area was exonerated from a wrongful conviction last year. After spending over 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, he is now speaking out to support others who have been wrongfully convicted. “It’s surreal,” he said of his release, “…I have been enslaved, you know mentally, as well as physically.”

According to CBS News, last year, Philadelphia County saw more people exonerated from murder convictions than anywhere else in America. This man is one of those people. After his release, he sued the city of Philadelphia for the wrongful conviction, as exonerees are not automatically entitled to compensation in Pennsylvania. He claimed his constitutional rights were violated due to coercion and the suppression and fabrication of evidence. In June 2020, the city of Philadelphia reached a settlement for $6.25 million on his behalf.

The newly released exoneree says he plans to use some of the money to establish a foundation to fight for justice. “I’m very hopeful that change, in fact, is going to come.”

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