News 04.07.08

Texas exoneree works to help free the wrongfully convicted

Charles Chatman spent 27 years in a Texas prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was released in January and his exoneration became official in February. Already, he is working to help advocates free the innocent in Texas and reform the system to prevent wrongful convictions. On Tuesday, he joined Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins is asking County Commissioners to extend funding for a DNA evidence review team, which has been examining cases of possible wrongful conviction where DNA testing could lead to exoneration.

On Wednesday, he told students at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law about his experiences.

"I try to base my life on the faith I had to get out. I don't dwell on the past," Chatman said Wednesday at the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, where he spoke to students involved with the Innocence Project. "I try to live my life from this day on."

…Chatman counts himself as lucky because he had a family to help him. He didn't get the standard $200 that inmates get upon release or access to programs to help them reintegrate into society.

 Now, he wants to work with the Innocence Project to help others who have been released but have no one to help them.

 "I'm dealing with it, but it's slow," Chatman said.

 

Read the full story here

. (Star-Telegram, 04/04/08)

Chatman is the 14th person to be exonerated by DNA testing in Dallas County, and the 31st in Texas.

Read about the other Texas exoneration cases here

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  1. Laura Messer says:

    I would like to get involved in this effort. I feel I have a passion for this kind of work or I’m willing to volunteer if that is possible. I am 62 years old and wanting to make a difference

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