For the last 22 years, Eddie Bolden sat in an Illinois prison, convicted of killing two men.
The only hitch: He didn’t do it. It was just this year he was exonerated of the crime, and this week he was freed, just in time to see his son Dom graduate from college.
22 years. TWENTY TWO years. Can you imagine?
I’ve said before that one of my biggest fears is going to jail, which has kept me (mostly) on the straight and narrow road for most of my life. But the only thing that I can imagine being worse than going to jail, is going to jail for something that I didn’t even do. That would just eat up at me inside every waking moment. I don’t know how I’d survive. It’s touching how Bolden says it was his children that kept him going, he thought of them. Of course, that wouldn’t be an option for me, as I don’t have any children, and never plan to.
Anyway, the point is that this is a huge tragedy, and it’s something that happens far too often. I’ve written about other cases of wrongfully convicted people before. And as I’ve also said, this is one of the reasons that I have come to oppose the death penalty. In theory the death penalty may seem like the appropriate sentence for certain crimes. But in reality it’s not worth the risk. This man is just one who got lucky that he was eventually exonerated. So you have to assume that, over the course of the length of this nation, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have been wrongfully convicted, and were never exonerated. They either simply died in jail or were executed. And with death, there are no do-overs.
So until we can come with with a 100% foolproof fair and balanced justice system, on every level, then the death penalty simply cannot and should not even be an option.