Survivors of wrongful conviction cast their ballot in historic midterm election, some for the first time ever

11.07.18 By Innocence Staff

Tyra Patterson moments after voting for the time in her life.

Tyra Patterson moments after voting for the time in her life.

An astounding 113 million people turned out to vote yesterday in perhaps one of the most contentious midterms elections in history, determining key races from attorney general to governor around the country. For some people, like Tyra Patterson, Carlos Sanchez, Stefon Morant, Kevin Bailey, and Rodney Roberts it was the first time in their life they had the right to vote after decades of wrongful incarceration.

Related: After 38 Years in Prison, Frederick Clay will be Voting for the First Time in his Life

With the exception of Vermont and Maine, all states exclude incarcerated people from the democratic process. Take a look at how voting felt to first-time voters and returning voters from the innocence community.

Kevin Bailey, freed in 2018 after 30 years in prison


Tyra Patterson, freed in 2017 after 23 years in prison


Darrell Jones, freed in 2017 after 32 years in prison

Carlos Sanchez, freed in 2017 after 25 years in prison


Tony Wright, freed in 2016 after 25 years in prison

Stefon Morant, freed in 2015 after 25 years in prison


Anthony Ray Hinton, freed in 2015 after 30 years in prison


Rodney Roberts, freed in 2014 after 20 years in prison


Yusef Salaam, freed in 2002 after nearly 7 years in prison


Kirk Bloodsworth, freed in 1993 after 8 years in prison



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Jacqueline Collins November 30, 2018 at 11:13 pm Reply   

My love one has been incarcerated for well over 34 years, he has done everything to free him self. He has even wrote to you. He went to the Innocent program here in San Diego, CA. He had one response from them asking for more information and since then he has sent in the information they requested and as it stands no more correspondence. I realize that you are a huge organization and have received a number of request. My thing is how long do you have to be in the system with the innocent project, before you are either rejected or accepted?
The inmate is located in California Men’s Colony, in San Luis Obispo, CA. The in mate name is Samuel Q. Bonner C-77696

Jane Lovette November 22, 2018 at 2:22 pm Reply   

My son has been in prison for 20 years for a murder he did not do.No one wants to help him. He is in South Carolina and they do not have an innocence project. In south Carolina it is day for day and no Help. They lock you up cover the window in all the cells so you can’t even see out. It is like being in a cave. My son is becoming more and more depressed day by day and is not the only. These people need help in South Carolina. The prison system has all the units on lock down until Jan. 2 2019. South Carolina is like a third world country. They need help.

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