The impact of returning to prison after serving 16 ½ years for a crime I was, and am innocent of, is tremendous. Where do I start? Being the rock and glue of my family, I immediately took charge of my position when I was freed. I wasn’t the only one who was permanently scarred from my wrongful conviction, my family suffered badly also.
Our healing process started the day I was released. In the short period of time I was home, I tightened my family bond that was shattered by the Justice System. The feeling of coming home from work to my wife, going to dinner at Big Mama’s house (mother) with my brothers and sisters, taking my mother shopping for her birthday, bringing her gifts for Mother’s Day, my kids, going out with my wife, speaking to trouble youth and speaking with other: men and women who were also wrongfully convicted at speaking engagements was priceless.
So, after the above and much more, returning to prison, and still is like living a re-occurring nightmare. I feel the pain double fold due to being through this wrongful imprisonment once, and being freed only to be back to endure it once again. If I was weak minded, and didn’t have the blood of our ancestors running through my veins, I wouldn’t stand a chance.
My family and supporters is crushed by this ordeal but, being through this once before, they have first hand knowledge of what’s necessary to support me mentally and emotionally. Let me not leave out friends and my fellow comrades, and my N.Y. and PA. Legal Teams. This has hit everybody extremely hard. What can I say? My situation has pulled my support system together tightly.
To say the System is prone to mistakes is an understatement. My reason for saying this? When someone’s conviction was strictly based on: ‘faulty’ Eye Witnesses, (Brady-violation) a coerced confession and (Ineffective Counsel) just to name a few out of many, and the Judge don’t grant relief or when he or she does grant relief, the Prosecutor still prosecutes knowing it was an injustice.
That’s intentional, not mistake. When DNA clears a person, the duty of a prosecutor should be to immediately ‘halt’ the prosecution as an, Officer of the Law. Not all prosecutors are corrupt, but the one’s that are is “the Deep Rooted Cancer” in the Justice System that is responsible for ‘Wrongful Convictions’. And as I always say, if you intentionally caused a wrongful conviction, not only should you never be able to practice Law, you should be ‘prosecuted’.
Upon filing for Re-argument with the, U.S. Supreme Court, my case was ‘Remanded’ back to the, Third Circuit Court of Appeals (the Judges who freed me). Due to the U.S. Supreme Court not allowing my attorneys the right to submit briefs or oral arguments. Not only did they make an error giving me a charge I never had, they made a mistake of basing their decision to ‘Reinstate’ my conviction strictly based on a Brady violation witness. This Brady Violation was clearly established in the Federal District Court in 2008. You would of thought that the U.S Supreme Court would of reviewed the record. Not in this case. “The Pain Within”
My personal view on my husband, Lorenzo Johnson’s Wrongfully conviction and what it done to the family.
Wrongful convictions has a huge impact on all parties involved. How is it ok to keep people in prison for crimes they didn’t commit? It’s an injustice that affects peoples lives tremendously. My family and I have suffered for far too long because of this.
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was watch my husband return to prison after five (5) months. He had already given the state of PA. 16 ½ years of his life for a crime he didn’t commit. Our children couldn’t understand how or why this was happening again! How could I explain this to them when I didn’t fully understand how something like this could take place.
I remember thinking how much could one man take? Was he strong enough to keep fighting for his freedom (a second time) or was his energy going to run out. I thought about our financial situation and how I would have to take care of us again. I thought about the system and how foul they really are. How could they come into my world and take all I had in a blink of an eye.
I cried for days feeling like they tore my heart out. I couldn’t eat or sleep, not to mention gained a lot of grey hairs.
A lot of extra spending we were doing also had to stop. I now had to make sure I had collect on my house and cell phones so he could call. Had to make sure I was able to order his food packages when he was allowed to have them. Also to make sure that I could get to PA. to see him as often as I could, living 2/12 hours away from the prison isn’t always that easy between: the price of gas, tolls, maintenance to our car and making sure he’s fed on the visits takes a hit to our savings.
It’s emotionally devastating as well, I love seeing him, but my heart breaks when it’s time to leave him there. He knows how bad it hurts me so he calls as soon as I get in the car to comfort me for my ride back to N.Y.. I totally agree with the saying, “if you do a crime, you should do the time”, but to keep an innocent man in prison for almost half his life, let him out, and bring him back, is: “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”.
I try to remain positive, but honestly have lost faith in the justice system. Wondering, “will they ever do what’s right? Are they willing to say we made a mistake not only once, but twice? The children ask all the time, “when is he coming home” The only answer for them is, “soon I hope” Although Lorenzo is the one behind those walls living this nightmare, we are all suffering and I will continue to suffer until justice is served!
FREE LORENZO JOHNSON-I LOVE YOU.