Thursday, July 13, 2006
Alan Newton Freed after 22 Years
The victim's "rape kit" was found in a police storage unit after the Police Department had repeatedly said it had been destroyed.
Can you imagine sitting in prison for 22 years knowing you where innocent. The evidence that might exonerate you supposedly destroyed.
In prison, Mr. Newton had repeatedly rejected a slot in a sex offender treatment program, which could have led to an early release. He thought it would have been tantamount to an admission of guilt, he said yesterday.
Would you do anything to get out? Including bowing to the system and admitting guilt. I know I would.
Mr. Newton must have the patience of a saint. What a remarkable man. It is because of cases like this I believe that DNA testing for sexual assault must be mandatory and I am highly skeptical of the Duke rape case.
Most important, he said, he wanted to see his mother's grave in New Jersey. She died shortly after he was sent to prison.
"The stress killed her," said Mr. Newton's brother, Anthony Newton. "It's that simple."
For his part, Alan Newton seemed intent on moving forward. "I try not to stay angry," he said, "because if you stay angry, you can't grow."
I saw Mr Newton on Hannity & Snivelling Twerp tonight. He had a sense of peace about him and creditted his faith and his family for getting him through his time in prison. I really admire him for this. Hannity noted his calm and what a powerful presence he had. I agree, his goodwill was palpable. I wish I could find that kind of peace. Maybe I should go to prison. No. Thanks. (I hope nobody I don't like turns up dead tomorrow.)