Ch. 20: A “miracle” with wrinkles, #badpleadeals by @antoinegoldet
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Rodney Roberts sees his exoneration as a miracle. But it also disqualifies him from the re-entry programs set up for felons and parolees, which offer their employers tax deductions.
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And when potential employers note the 18-year gap in his work history, he finds it hard to explain.
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For months, Roberts picked up temporary work where he could while his wife, Lynda – a shop steward for a metal stamping company – remained the main breadwinner. He applied for job after job – as a warehouseman, driver, paralegal, salesman.
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After almost a year and a half, at the end of summer 2015, Roberts was hired as a warehouseman on the night shift. He still hopes to find a post as a paralegal or public advocate, taking advantage of skills and a certificate he acquired while in prison.
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Twenty states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada, don’t offer compensation for the time people have spent wrongfully behind bars. Of those that do, it’s far from automatic.
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In New Jersey, the Senate proposed a bill to expand the state’s compensation policies in 2007. But when Gov. Chris Christie signed the bill into law in 2013, he vetoed provisions for including those who pleaded guilty, arguing that such imprisonment “flowed from the defendant’s own misstatement.”
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Once again, Roberts’ hasty decision back in 1996 to avoid the unknowns of a jury by pleading guilty to kidnapping looms large.
. “That’s not recognizing how our system really works,” says Lin Solomon, a private attorney who tried to win compensation for Roberts. “It negates the role of the police, of the prosecutor, of the public defender in the guilty plea.”
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Over 2 million Americans currently are incarcerated following a plea agreement. Few get the second chance Roberts got. Yet at the same time, barely a month passes without the exoneration of a convict who falsely confessed. The National Registry of Exonerations, established in 2012 by the University of Michigan Law School, lists more than 230 such individuals – nearly 13 percent of the roughly 1,900 post-conviction exonerations publicly reported since 1989.
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  • revealnewsCh. 20: A “miracle” with wrinkles, #badpleadeals by @antoinegoldet
    .

    Rodney Roberts sees his exoneration as a miracle. But it also disqualifies him from the re-entry programs set up for felons and parolees, which offer their employers tax deductions.
    .

    And when potential employers note the 18-year gap in his work history, he finds it hard to explain.
    .

    For months, Roberts picked up temporary work where he could while his wife, Lynda – a shop steward for a metal stamping company – remained the main breadwinner. He applied for job after job – as a warehouseman, driver, paralegal, salesman.
    .

    After almost a year and a half, at the end of summer 2015, Roberts was hired as a warehouseman on the night shift. He still hopes to find a post as a paralegal or public advocate, taking advantage of skills and a certificate he acquired while in prison.
    .

    Twenty states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada, don’t offer compensation for the time people have spent wrongfully behind bars. Of those that do, it’s far from automatic.
    .

    In New Jersey, the Senate proposed a bill to expand the state’s compensation policies in 2007. But when Gov. Chris Christie signed the bill into law in 2013, he vetoed provisions for including those who pleaded guilty, arguing that such imprisonment “flowed from the defendant’s own misstatement.”
    .
    Once again, Roberts’ hasty decision back in 1996 to avoid the unknowns of a jury by pleading guilty to kidnapping looms large.
    . “That’s not recognizing how our system really works,” says Lin Solomon, a private attorney who tried to win compensation for Roberts. “It negates the role of the police, of the prosecutor, of the public defender in the guilty plea.”
    .

    Over 2 million Americans currently are incarcerated following a plea agreement. Few get the second chance Roberts got. Yet at the same time, barely a month passes without the exoneration of a convict who falsely confessed. The National Registry of Exonerations, established in 2012 by the University of Michigan Law School, lists more than 230 such individuals – nearly 13 percent of the roughly 1,900 post-conviction exonerations publicly reported since 1989.

  • tanishascotthampoor education sounds like all he was guilty of--at least he met his future wife there. Get rid of the box.
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