Sunday, July 24, 2011

This is SWEET FREEDOM DAY!

July 24 is such a special day. It was on this day in the year 2004 that I walked out of the Duane Waters prison hospital in Jackson, Michigan, at the side of my dear friend Maurice Carter. He was a free man. I had met him 9 years earlier, and after some side-stepping and walking on tip-toes, we became best friends. Over the years I came to believe his claims of wrongful conviction, and did my best to mobilize forces to seek his freedom. Things didn't turn out the way we had hoped. He obtained his freedom because of illness, not innocence.

But, on this day in 2004, he stepped into the free world. The emotions of that day cannot be described. We sat him in a recliner in the front of a luxurious motor home as we drove away from the ugly prison setting to a beautiful neighorhood of friends waiting in a public reception. He chatted on a cell phone for the first time in his life, as he marveled at the beauty of nature on that glorius day.

We tried to pack a lifetime of experiences into the next 90 days. Exactly three months later his life came to an end, but not before he tasted SWEET FREEDOM. The legacy of Maurice Carter, on the other hand, will never die.

If you had not met him, if you didn't know him, you still must read about him. Let him touch your life, as he did mine. I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book SWEET FREEDOM.

May the memory of Maurice Carter stir us to new heights of compassion for those behind bars, and remind us that many people do not deserve to be there.

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