Richard Towler was released from jailed after being detained for an astounding 30 years behind bar…..get this, he was innocent the entire time. No one was listening until the Innocence Project came in to defend and question the DNA on file. There are many young men and women going to jail….I would have to ask this question: Does this mean he has street cred? I sure if you ask Mr. Towler he would tell you it ain’t no picnic being detained for a good portion of his life for a crime he did not commit.
There are literally thousands of young men and women in jail who have not committed any crimes but the judicial system already determined they are guilty! There is really something wrong with our current broken judicial system. I am not saying that hardened criminals should not be locked up but the innocence and an individual life snatched away unjustifiably is unacceptable.
I am very impress with Mr. Towler because he never allowed anyone to talk him into a guilty plea nor waived his rights despite receiving a life time jail sentence. If your innocent no one can tell you otherwise….especially if you did not commit the allege crime.
The Ohio Innocence Project just helped give this man his life back through DNA testing. The Columbus Dispatch reports:
Cuyahoga County Judge Eileen A. Gallagher broke down on the bench this morning as she freed a man who has served 29 years for a rape he did not commit.
After a 10-minute hearing, Gallagher approved a prosecutor’s request to release Ray Towler from his life sentence and declared him innocent.
Gallagher stepped down from the bench, approached Towler with an extended hand, and said, “Mr. Towler, you are free to go,” as she shook his hand, tears streaming down her face.
Towler beamed throughout the hearing, waved to family members in the back of the courtroom, and again showed no signs of anger or animosity for losing so many years behind bars.
“I just waited for the sun to come up today and it did. And for the first time in a long time, I get to walk in the sun outside of prison,” Towler [said] after his release.
“This is the greatest day of my life, and it’s pure joy; I have no hate for anyone,” said the 52-year-old Cleveland native in a phone interview yesterday. “I suppose hoping to see LeBron play in person is too much to ask, but at least I can watch the games from outside the barbed wire. I get to start a new life, and the Cavs are going to win the championship. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Towler, who was proved innocent by DNA testing, is expected to be released from the Grafton Correctional Institution this morning after an appearance in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court.
DNA testing has exonerated 253 men nationally, but only a few have served more time than Towler.
He is the third man to be freed in connection with the Dispatch project, Test of Convictions, which was first published in January 2008. The series exposed flaws in the Ohio DNA-testing system, reviewed more than 300 cases with the Ohio Innocence Project and then highlighted 30 prisoners, including Towler, as prime candidates for DNA testing.
“We believed in Ray’s case from the beginning, and this is the latest reminder of how important DNA testing can be in the search for justice,” said Mark Godsey, director of the Innocence Project who represented Towler. “He is innocent, and the prosecutors agree.”