As exonerations continue unabated in Dallas County it is really inspiring to see how exonorees are joining forces to fight back and change the racist and unjust system that destroyed theirs and so many other people’s lives.
Dallas has freed more innocent men from prison than any other county in the country. Now they’re working together to change the system.
On May 12, Johnnie Pinchback became the 28th Dallas man to be freed from prison after evidence proved police got the wrong guy.
I spoke to him the day after he got out. He was so happy to be free he hadn’t slept yet. “I’m on my way to my sister’s house, to eat catfish,” Pinchback said in a giddy tone, like he couldn’t believe he was doing something so normal. “I feel marvelous. Just being able to breathe. Just to hear the mockingbirds sing.”
Pinchback spent 27 years behind bars for the rape of two teenage girls, who misidentified him in a police lineup.
He was released after the Innocence Project of Texas took up his case and DNA evidence proved he wasn’t the perpetrator. Pinchback likely wouldn’t be free if it weren’t for help from other Dallas exonerees released before him.
They not only provide proof of how the system can go wrong, but also have organized into a potent grassroots force for freeing other innocent men.