It’s never easy reading about wrongful convictions. John O’Brien
with the Post-Standard reports that a man in New York spent almost a decade
behind bars for a violent crime he didn’t commit. He was convicted
after a coerced confession and sentenced for his wife’s attempted
murder. It turned out that another man, apparently at random, entered
the couple’s apartment and beat her severely with a hammer.
This man since confessed to the crime, as O’Brien reports, and police
and prosecutors admit that the evidence against this other man is “strong.”
So while Dan Gristwood, now 46, spent years behind bars, missing the lives
of his five young children in the process. The state wants to compensate
him more than five million dollars, or $1,600 for every day spent behind
bars, but the millions aren’t enough to make up for missing all
those years with his children.
“I see [my son] out there swinging a baseball bat in a team league,”
Gristwood says, as O’Brien quotes. “I get very teary-eyed.”
The moral of the story is this: No amount of financial compensation can
make up for a wrongful conviction. Years behind bars are years that can’t
be given back, no matter how much money you throw at a person.