It’s an unfortunate reality that failings in the American judicial system often result in people being imprisoned who don’t deserve to be. These failings more often than not affect black men. While it’s long overdue, justice has finally been served to a man wrongfully convicted by the system.
CBS News reports that after 25 years, Calvin Bright has been released from prison. The Washington, D.C., man was only 22 years old when he was wrongfully convicted in the shooting deaths of Tammy Peay and William Ramsey back in 1994. Two years ago, a letter was found from the detectives originally investigating the case that named another man as a suspect in the murders.
During a re-sentencing hearing on Wednesday, his original counsel testified that this evidence would’ve altered the way he litigated and investigated the case. Bright was initially sentenced to 65 years to life. He was released on time served and will be on probation for five years. Additionally, he cannot sue the district as part of the terms of his release.
Bright is only 15 credits from obtaining his associate’s degree and is looking to start a career in criminal justice. He wants to open an investigation firm. “So now I can do something about the next person that winds up in the predicament that I went into,” said Bright.
It’s truly a damn shame that it took 25 years for them to find the letter that held the key to this man’s freedom. The fact that the letter was found in the original case file just raises so many questions. Why wasn’t this brought up in the first place? Why didn’t the detectives say anything? The more you look at it, the sketchier it all seems.
I’m happy Bright finally has his freedom but it’s frustrating to see how easily this could’ve been avoided. Not only that, there is no justice for the families of two people whose deaths were at the center of this case, due to sloppy investigative work.