Freedom Can Be a Challenge for Exonerated Convicts


The daily struggles that Greg Wallis faces are typical of the hundreds of people nationwide who have been exonerated through DNA testing and released from prison. Almost all exhaust their finances in prison fighting to prove their innocence, and many suffer deep family fractures while locked away, according to a survey by the nonprofit Life After Exoneration Program. Like Wallis, they enter free society ill equipped to make the transition, reports the Dallas Morning News.

“They feel like pariahs,” said Wallis’ attorney, Jeff Blackburn. “They’ve got the normal problems of readjusting on the outside, and nobody wants to listen to their story.” Wallis is the third convict Dallas County whom public defender Michelle Moore has helped to secure DNA tests that exonerated them. The stigma of being accused of such a taboo crime often follows them, she said. “Employers look at that and say, ‘Oh no, he was accused of rape. We’re not going to do that,’ ” she said.


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