Last night, I went with Brooklyn and Yellow to see a film that was part of the Sundance documentary series.
The Trials of Darryl Hunt was all about this guy who was convicted of a murder that he didn't commit. He spent 20 years in prison while his appeals were denied. Even after DNA testing showed that he wasn't responsible for the rape and murder of the lady wasn't enough to get him a new trial. Finally, they ended up finding the guy who had actually committed the crime, and they let Darryl out of prison.
It was a really interesting story. All along, nobody really had any evidence. People got so fired up because he was a black guy and she was a white woman that it became an emotional issue rather than a logical one.
The thing that really impressed me was that throughout it all, Darryl stayed really positive. When they asked him when he was first being tried if he was angry, he said that he wasn't. He said people make mistakes, and that was one of them. Pretty much all of the video clips of him showed him smiling and calm. He really made the best of his situation. He often talked about God watching out for him.
He's been out of prison for almost two years, now, and he isn't filing charges against anyone. He's moving on. He's serving other people.
In the discussion after the movie, the girl who made the film said that Darryl has started a program to help inmates succeed with the transition to life outside of prison. He has a 90 day? class that teaches people job skills, offers housing, etc, etc, and there have already been 35 or so people to complete it.
When someone asked her what we could do, she said that the best thing we could do would be to participate in prison literacy programs. I'm looking into those now.
I'm really glad that I went to see the movie; I think Darryl offered an amazing example of patience and optimism.