dwayne allan dail was released from prison today after serving almost 20 years for a crime he did not commit.
he was sentenced to two life sentences plus 18 years in 1989 on charges of first-degree rape of a twelve-year-old girl and other charges stemming from the incident.
through dna testing from evidence thought lost he walked out of the Wayne County Superior Court in Goldsboro today exonerated of all charges.
he had the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge and face only a fraction of the time. he could have been a free man 16 years ago. he would have been free, but branded "guilty." and guilty he was not. and he wasn't giving up on that no matter what.
how many of us would have made the same decision faced with such a choice.
well, as you can see, this photo isn't him. but along with the flat-land tobacco farms along US 70 through Johnston county, cars and powerlines were the travel highlights of this trip and two things so ubiquitous (and necessary?) we take them for granted until we're taken away from them.
dail was taken away from a lot more than these (cellphones and a calzone were the first things he dived into as a free man. and i'm sure it was the best tasting calzone he ever had)
but he did not come across as jaded or bitter. maybe in time. but hopefully not.
" i won't lie. it wasn't easy. they can take everything. but they cannot take your mind. a person has to give them that. and i absolutely refused to give it to them."