Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good from Evil

A wonderful story, from the Houston Chronicle, of a man whose tragedy has been woven into triumph.

Our prayers are with him and his work.

An excerpt.

“Michael Anthony Green fiddled with his cell phone, the second one he has owned since he was freed from prison less than a month ago.

"If my little phone has all that it has on it, I can just imagine the vastness of the computer and the knowledge I can gain from it," Green said Wednesday. "That's the one thing I love to do is educate myself."

“His first phone was stolen outside Harris County's law library on Saturday. He was there doing legal research for Bob Wicoff, the lawyer who helped him get out of prison and then hired him to write briefs and interview inmates. Wednesday officially was his first day on the job.

"Mike could really change the world," Wicoff said of his new employee. "He's in a position to be instrumental in making all sorts of important changes in Austin, with new legislation. His case could be an example of the changes we need to make."

“But first, Green, who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, said he has to learn about computers. He wants to become a paralegal to help other inmates he says are wrongfully imprisoned.

"I love the law, and I want to try to get some of the other fellows out," the 45-year-old said.

“In 1983, Green was sentenced to 75 years in prison for the rape of a Houston woman because of faulty eyewitness identification. DNA evidence has cleared Green from any involvement in the case. He was freed July 30 but still has to be declared actually innocent. If he is, Green stands to receive more than $2 million from the state. Nonetheless, he plans to continue to work.

"That's how I'm going to live. Regardless of the compensation money, I'm still going to work," he said.

“Since his release, Green said he has been spending his days catching up with family. At night, he watches television and has trouble sleeping.

"I didn't sleep for three days after I got out," he said.

“A room for mementos

“He is kept awake by the newfound freedom to do whatever he wants, he said. Some nights he spends hours walking around the suburban block where he is staying with family.

“Eventually, Green said, he would like to buy a small house. One room will be set aside, he said, to display mementos related to his time behind bars, including the shoes he wore on his last day in prison, newspaper clippings of exonerated prisoners and the typewriter he used to type the 13-page motion requesting the DNA testing that ultimately freed him.

"There is a lot of typing in 13 pages," the hunt-and-peck typist said.”