David Bryant had his youth stolen for him because his court-appointed attorney neglected to mention that he had a different blood type from body fluids from those collected from the body of a raped and murdered eight year-old girl. Arrested when he was 18, Bryant is now 56, the victim of a judgment system all too quick to carelessly convict a suspect of convenience. He’s free now, thanks to the efforts of advocacy group Centurion Ministries.
As you can imagine, 38 years in prison as a convicted child murderer and rapist is brutal:
“Let me tell you, the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl is not the ideal thing to be in prison for,” he said.
“All I had was my faith that I knew I was an innocent man. I was alone. I had no one. All I had was my personal knowledge that I didn’t commit these awful acts, and I clung to that so tight and I never let it go,” Bryant continued. “I didn’t believe I would come out alive. There was a $50,000 bounty on my head.”
Bryant said he was jumped numerous times while in prison, and was once almost fatally stabbed. But he said the hardest part of being in the slammer was the isolation.
“No one is there for you. No one cares if you live or die. No one. It’s hard to explain what it does to your soul,” he said.
One man’s life irreparably ruined, and somewhere out there a child killer still walks free. Never assume that anyone has your best interests at heart should you find yourself at the mercy of our justice system, especially if you have to rely on a court-appointed attorney.
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