A Wrongful Conviction Robbed William Lopez of His Freedom, And then His Life by Liliana Segura

On a snowy evening in late March, just over a year after walking out of prison, where he had spent 23 years for a crime he didn’t commit, William Lopez entered a CVS in the Bronx and did something inexplicable. After paying for a prescription at the pharmacy counter, he paused to grab some other things—two sticks of Old Spice deodorant and some allergy medicine. Then, without paying, and in full view of a security guard, he walked out. Police were called and Lopez was arrested.

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Exonerated. Now What?

It had been a while since Jeffrey Deskovic hosted one of his weekday evening singalongs, so last month he made a few calls and brought some friends together at the Karaoke Cave, a noisy little bar on East 13th Street in Manhattan. At 6 p.m. the place was filled with young professionals sipping beers and shouting into microphones in an undemanding, if embarrassing, environment. But to Mr. Deskovic and the men who joined him, standing up in public and singing cheesy pop songs was more than an innocent release.

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Exonerated Mercy Alum Helping Others Gain Freedom

Murder suspect William Lopez spent 23 years in prison fighting to prove his innocence. Letters and appeals fell on deaf ears. Then on a cold day in January, a judge finally believed him, and said, “You are free to go.” Suddenly, after years of adjusting to the rules and accepting the unfairness of life behind bars, he could go home.

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