“He knew his name was cleared before he left. He wanted to be baptized again, and I thank God he got to do that. He wanted to ride a bicycle and he got to do that. He had been locked up for 32 years.”
Jerry Dixon talking about his wrongly convicted brother to Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.; “Cleared Mississippi man's freedom cut short.”
Bobby Ray Dixon, 53, died this past Sunday of lung and brain cancer, not long after he had been cleared of the rape and murder of a Hattiesburg woman back in 1979.
The Innocence Project New Orleans filed a motion to have DNA evidence in the case tested, and it came back belonging to a different man who already was serving a sentence for a 1981 rape.
Dixon had been released from Parchman Farm in August because of his cancer diagnosis. The judge set aside the guilty pleas of Dixon and another man on Sept. 16. A third man wrongly convicted died while in prison
The Clarion Ledger reports that sometimes innocent people will plead guilty, and testify against others, to avoid the death penalty. [Frontline did a similar piece about the Norfolk 4, a group of four men who were badgered into confessing, and implicating others, to a crime they didn't commit.]
Imagine spending 32 years in prison for something you didn't do, and one of you last wishes is to get to go for a bike ride. It's one of life's simple pleasures.