Wrongly imprisoned for 30 years

Posted Thursday May 6, 2010 by John Gunders in |

This guy’s response to the overturning of his 1981 conviction for rape is humbling. Where you would expect anger, bitterness, and revenge (of course, that might come later), Raymond Towler, who has spent more than half his life in jail, was forgiving and generous:

Towler deflected a question about demanding an apology and said he understood justice can take time.

“I think it was just a process, you know, the DNA,” he said. “It just took a couple of years to get to it. We finally got to it and the job was done.”

I’m not sure I would be able to be that reserved.

A reporter asked Towler how he would adjust to freedom, and he simply said, “Just take a deep breath and just enjoy life right now.”

I happen to know a little bit about imprisonment, and I’m afraid it’s going to be hard. After 30 years of not being allowed to think for himself, Towler will find it very hard to cope without someone constantly telling him what to do. That and the fact that the society he left 30 years ago was a very different place to the one he’s entering now means that it is unlikely that he will ever be able to get a job, certainly a meaningful one.

I’m not a huge fan of the American tendency to litigate, but I hope Towler does sue: he’ll need all the help he can get to try and create some sort of normal life after this.

But really, what a guy. I yell abuse when someone cuts me off in the traffic: this guy’s demeanor is stunning.