Joseph Ligon was convicted in 1953 of a stabbing murder. At 15 years old he received a life prison sentence. Recently, the courts stated that juveniles should not received life sentences without the possibility of parole for crimes committed. As such, Ligon is now being offered parole.
The twist is that he has refused parole. He maintains that he is innocent and has been in prison long enough. He doesn’t want to come out and be on probation or parole. He feels he should be free. Really free.
We know that even these days, the “good” guys have been caught planting drugs, and framing the “bad” guys for crimes. And that’s in 2017. Can you imagine how bad it must have been way back in 1953 in this country? Innocent or not, this guy never stood a chance. Imagine how many other potentially innocent men may have been killed or died while serving life sentences for crimes they may not have committed.
Ligon said in 2010 that the only reason he hasn’t lost his mind is because he knows that he is innocent, and that’s how he has survived all these decades in prison. There has been so much injustice exacted on the lives of our brothers and sisters, and this is just another example. Many men and women have been released decades later due to DNA evidence and so on.
It makes me sick to my stomach to think that an innocent man may have been killed, or died in prison because someone lied about them. It makes me utterly sick to think that, and this is one of the major reasons that I withdrew support from the death penalty.
I don’t know what will happen with Mr Ligon, but what I do know is that if he really is innocent, it’s a horrible shame that he has spent more time in prison than I have been alive! By the time I was born, he had already spent over two decades locked up. I mean, that just makes me sick. I wish him all the best, and I hope that if truly innocent, he will be cleared before leaving this world.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.