revealnewsCh. 9: Prison term up in #badpleadeals? by @antoinegoldet
Rodney Roberts couldn’t sleep. His prison term was set to end the next morning, more than six and a half years after he pleaded guilty to a crime he did not commit. Next to his bed sat a small green duffel bag holding remnants of his prison life: a handful of toiletries, a few items of clothing.
Roberts had completed his compulsory prerelease classes, which coach prisoners on life skills such as how to present themselves at a job interview or where to find public assistance. He felt ready.
A few hours after sunrise, the courtyard outside his cell began to fill with the familiar faces of prerelease classmates. Roberts soon joined them.
The process was simple: A warden called out a prisoner’s name, then the prisoner stepped to the side and walked to freedom.
Waiting outside of the massive prison stood one of Roberts’ few unfailing supporters. Lynda Anderson had missed only a handful of the weekly visits inmates were allowed. She had just turned 37 and had taken a week off work to celebrate her birthday and his release.
The two planned to marry in the coming month.
Name after name was called. Step to the side. Freedom. Finally, Roberts alone was left. He asked the guards sitting in the glass booth that controls the prison’s doors: “Did you forget me?”
. “Stand against the wall,” he remembers a warden answering. “We have to check something for you.”
He would not learn until the next day that the civil division of the attorney general’s office of Cumberland County, New Jersey, had lodged a detainer against him – a red flag suggesting he should not be released. At this moment, he still had hope. He had served his time, and it was his constitutional right to walk free.
Outside the prison, a guard told Anderson that Roberts wasn’t coming out that day, but he did not tell her why. She stayed in the parking lot for more than two hours, looking at the exit door the others had passed through.
- ben.amendolaraThis is truly a heinous experience. I am sorry.
- quadguy27What torture that must be. It's truly a despicable way to treat people. It just goes to show, "once a criminal, always a criminal". There will never be a way to really clear your name, trust me,I know.
- octavemarsalWhat excuse did they find to keep him locked in?
- charliehuette@lisalpreddy Check this acct. Thought the series might interest you.
- tanishascotthamwhat heartbreak!
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