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Exonerees face an uphill battle upon release

In June of 2015, Glenn Ford died of lung cancer. If you don't recognize his name despite his story being the subject of documentaries and movies, his story might infuriate you. This man spent 30 years in Angola for crimes he didn't commit. After being exonerated and released from prison, he only lived one short year before he died. He never got the compensation that was due to him for being wrongfully incarcerated. Situations like this happen at an alarming rate.

According to the Innocence Project, approximately 2.3 to 5 percent of the country's more than 2.3 million prisoners are serving time for crimes they didn't commit. This translates to tens of thousands of people being held without reason in prisons. Of the people who are exonerated, one-third of them don't ever receive compensation for being wrongfully incarcerated.

Exonerations happen at a rate that might shock you -- around one every three days. For these men and women, getting a taste of freedom is a sweet experience, but they might soon come to realize that they still face an uphill battle. Think about how hard it would be for you to adjust to coming back into society after being placed in prison for decades. This adjustment would be very difficult.

On top of having to learn to live life again, you also have to deal with the label of exoneree. Despite the common term being used often, it actually isn't even an acknowledged word. Some might say this is the same way that the exonerees feel -- they exist but their trials usually aren't acknowledged.

This story shows that people who face trials might be wrongfully imprisoned. One of the best ways to combat this is to work on a defense that shows your position.

Source: Truthout, "What Happens to Innocent People When They Are Freed?," Alison Flowers, Jan. 19, 2017

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