Today’s post for the Innocence Blog was written by the sister of an Innocence Project client who is still in prison and fighting to prove his innocence.
Sometimes life can deal you a hand that’s hard to understand.
My name is Vickie and I am the sister of a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder. It has been, by far, the hardest thing my family has gone through. To watch my mother who was always so full of life cry everyday over her only son, and to feel so helpless—not being able to do anything—was devastating.
My brother means the world to me. As an older sister, to watch my brother’s life being taken from him killed me inside; my world was crushed. Both my life and my mother’s life stopped there for years. I didn’t want to go out in public in fear that I might hear someone judge him or our family while not knowing the facts. We wouldn’t go out and eat because we felt guilty that my brother couldn’t.
Not once have I questioned my brother’s innocence. I started writing to everyone I could think of for help: our governor, the Supreme Court, the attorney general, my state representative and the Innocence Project. After years of being persistent, it finally paid off. The Innocence Project took on his case.
I had known about the Innocence Project for years and always admired them for the work they do to help prove the innocence of people who, without the organization, would have very little hope, if any. The Innocence Project has worked hard on my brother’s case and had to jump through many hoops, but with the resources and the great staff they have, it is moving along. They inspire me with every case they work on; it makes me want to help in any way I can—just to give hope to people who are lost. They help give people back their freedom that has been stolen from them.
My brother has been in prison now for 21 years, but the Innocence Project has given us the hope that we have been searching for. Our mother was diagnosed with brain cancer last year and passed away this past June. She never got to see her only son walk out of prison a free man. My brother missed spending my mom’s last few days of life with her and he didn’t get to go to her funeral, which was devastating, but it gives me some comfort that she was aware that the Innocence Project had her son’s case well underway.
We finally have the hope that maybe one day soon he will be able to come home and live a good life. No words can describe how grateful I am to them.