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Thread by @absurdistwords: "This story is horrific. I don't feel good. I just feel empty. Heartwarming would have been a story about how he reached out and forged a fri […]"

, 13 tweets, 2 min read
This story is horrific.

I don't feel good. I just feel empty.
Heartwarming would have been a story about how he reached out and forged a friendship with the prosecutors in jail, convicted and imprisoned for his wrongful prosecution
Heartwarming would have been a story about how the prosecutors learned important lessons by experiencing the hell they put this man and countless others through on a daily basis
Heartwarming might have been a tale about how the Chicago White Sox, aghast at one of their employees doing a 23 year bid for nothing, corralled resources to make sure he was fully supported for years rather than giving him his menial job back
But what we are supposed to accept as heartwarming is a man thrilled to be placed back into the employment machine because it is infinitely better than being imprisoned for almost six presidential terms
Whenever someone does a piece on a person being reunited with his family after decades of wrongful imprisonment, we always seem to eclipse the magnitude of the wrong done to that person.

We do not cry for the justice that should follow 20 years of kidnapping and restraint
People marvel at how happy he is rather than angry. They shouldn't.

Prison is dehumanization. It's degradation. It's a loss of autonomy. It's a theft of control. It's a robbery of time and experience and family and dignity.

Who wouldn't be happy to regain ones humanity again?
When I was wrongfully jailed, and for only two DAYS, stepping into daylight was exhilarating.

I was on top of the world. Joyous. I was FREE.

Freedom is always joyous. That joy may be fleeting but it's real.

But the joy of freedom is misleading
The joy of being freed doesn't mean an absence of rage. Of profound feelings of injustice. Of bitterness.

One SHOULD be bitter about being wrongfully imprisoned

We treat the apparent lack of bitterness as a virtue.
We SHOULD be bitter about a system that shrugs at stealing an entire generation's worth of time from a person.

Over a quarter of their natural life
He was wrongfully imprisoned for murder.

He just as easily could have ended up on death row with people cheering for his painful and experimental death.

Excited for this innocent man to die.
Whenever we use these "Feel good" narratives about innocents released from prison, we give cover to the criminal justice system's abuses

The focus becomes the happy reunion rather than encouraging action to ensure this doesn't happen in the first place
Because I really want you to imagine leaving your loved ones during a commercial to go to the corner store to get snacks and never getting to go home for 20 years.

This happens. Daily.
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