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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  January 24, 2016 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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what the blind can do. `` gadi schwartz, nbc `` `` `` `` sunday. `` i'm erica hill `` york. `` `` `` night. `` we the jury find the ``defendant guilty. ``>> actually think that they read ``the wrong verdict. ``>> you feel so alone and ``hopeless. ``>> it's like a shot in the ``chest. ``>> despair to hope. ``darkness to light. ``tonight, a fight for freedom in ``the shadow of justice. ``life was cheap that night in new ``york. ``two brutal murders just a half ``mile apart. ``>> here for a homicide crime ``scene. ``>> six people were convicted.
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``>> you think the system works ``and we're going to beat this. ``we didn't. ``>> then, divine intervention ``through a nun he called grandma. ``>> would say, grandma, i think ``this all happening for a reason. ``>> he'd been behind bars for ``nearly two decades, lost his ``last appeal. ``maybe a nun could help him get ``into heaven but could she help ``him get out of prison? ``what she helped him do was get a ``lawyer and together they hunted ``for the truth. ``>> this is one case that kept me ``up at night for six years. ``>> he says, i know you're ``innocent. ``i know the guy who is committed ``this crime. ``>> tonight, will justice finally ``arrive? ``>> this is my wall of hope. ``everyone here has been unjustly ``convicted and freed. ``>> i'm lester holt and this is
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``here's josh mankiewicz. ``>> sing sing correctional ``facility. ``the maximum security prison in ``new york. ``this is the big house. ``home to some of the worst of the ``worst. ``killers, rapists, drug dealers. ``>> good morning. ``>> thank you. ``>> it is not where you'd expect ``to find this gentle woman. ``>> in sing sing, they call me ``grandma. ``>> grandma is sister joanna ``khan, a nun. ``>> i began working at sing sing ``more than 12 years ago. ``this is the battle about ``general. ``prison. ``working with inmates in a ``theater program. ``she even teaches them chinese. ``through the years, grandma has ``helped dozens of men. ``but she says this inmate here on ``stage, a convicted killer, has
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``>> he is just so brave. ``watching him all these years, i ``took such courage myself ``watching him. ``>> sister joanna remembers the ``first time she met this inmate. ``he was sitting alone eating. ``>> he said, my family send me 30 ``pounds of food. ``so i said, your family must love ``you very much. ``and he said, yes, because they ``know i'm innocent. ``and that's how the whole story ``began. ``>> a story that began with the ``unlikely friendship between a ``nun and a convicted killer would ``grow into a quest that would ``shake the faith of ep those ``sworn to uphold the law. ``>> i thought the people ``innocent, god has to see him ``through. ``>> so who is this convicted ``murderer? ``he issen mate 97-a-7088. ``38-year-old eric glisson.
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``of 2012 when a "dateline" ``producer working on a different ``story in sing sing met eric in ``the cell. ``>> you're going to film me? ``>> he had been locked up for 18 ``years. ``>> you want to see what it's ``like to live in here? ``i can touch the walls with my ``hands. ``>> eric told us he didn't belong ``here. ``>> my story is that i'm unjustly ``convicted for a crime i didn't ``commit and from february 3rd of ``1995 until the present date i've ``been sitting in here lingering ``every day wondering whether this ``mistake will be corrected. ``>> we've heard that before. ``many times. ``but what if he was telling the ``truth? ``so, over time -- ``>> how are you doing, snan. ``>> we began visiting eric. ``>> what's up? ``you're looking good. ``>> and listening to his story. ``>> when i got arrested i was ``always under the impression ``people who are guilty actually ``go to jail. ``i didn't believe that i would be ``convicted of a crime that i
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``>> when police put the cuffs on ``him in 1995 eric was 20 years ``old. ``the brand new father of a ``1-week-old baby girl. ``since then, their only time ``together has been spent in sing ``sing's visiting room. ``>> i have a family who i love. ``and who love me. ``my daughter, i need to get home ``to her and be a father. ``>> eric often shared his story ``with sister joanna. ``over time, she felt compelled to ``do something, anything for him. ``so she called the only lawyer ``she knew. ``>> the first person i could ``think of was mr. peter krauss. ``>> i trust her judgment. ``>> attorney peter cross agreed ``to see if there's truth to ``eric's story but there was still ``one problem. ``this is not the law you normally ``practice. ``>> no, not at all. ``i'm a corporate lawyer. ``i do corporate litigation. ``i don't do criminal work.
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``>> out of the blue one day i get ``this call. ``you have a collect call from -- ``an inmate at sing sing ``correctional facility. ``like, okay. ``>> soon she found herself ``spending hours on the phone with ``the inmate. ``>> at first, it was all, you ``know, business, case, case. ``by the time you talk to somebody ``every day, personal things start ``to slip in. ``>> friendship. ``>> friendship. ``>> in the meantime, her boss was ``checking out eric's xlams of ``innocence. ``did you believe at the ``beginning? ``>> i'm not going to say i didn't ``disbelieve. ``i'm practicing law for a ``listening time. ``okay? ``>> and people law. ``>> they certainly color the ``truth. ``this is a man who was convicted ``of murdering someone. ``so, of course, i approached it ``with some skepticism. ``>> once cross learned the facts, ``he agreed to take eric's case at ``no charge. ``representing a man who didn't ``seem hardened by prison but ``almost frightened. ``>> it's terrifying because you
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``and then you could be shanked. ``that's the life of prison. ``>> a life he's lived for nearly ``two decades. ``a story he was telling us if ``true was as explosive as it was ``tragic. ``>> it turns out that the police ``and the district attorney had ``all the evidence that they ``disclosed to solve this crime ``from the beginning. ``>> not only was eric insisting ``he was wrongfully convicted, he ``said others were, too. ``all of them locked away for life ``for the same crime. ``>> five other people, five other ``people was also convicted of ``this crime. ``>> six people. ``could all of them actually be ``innocent? ``>> time now is approximately ``7:15. ``>> to find out, we'll go back ``almost two decades and take a ``hard look at how it all began. ``>> is it possible to get ``something so important, so ``wrong, about so many people? ``when we come back, we
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``didn't to find out what witness ``really saw from her window the ``day of the murder. ``>> how's the detectives could ``have decided to run with this ``still shocks me today. ing a hot new deal att mcdonald' s @ that starts with you. now, get 2 delicious tastes for just $2 dollars. the mcpick 2 menu. mix and match new melty mozzarella sticks with a juicyt mcdouble. or golden fries with a classic mcchicken. @ only $2 bucks for any two. hurry in and choose your faves for just $2 dollars. @ it' s the tastiest deal yet. @ just ask for it. @aaaaaaaand we' re back at`cricket wireless! @switch and get a brand new @lg risio for $19.99, @or take a spin with the samsung @galaxy grand prime for $29.99! @cricket wireless. @something to smile about. r t @ now you can do it all witht the all-new smartpoints fromt
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`` within the walls of sing ``sing a convicted murderer has ``convinced a nun and a corporate ``lawyer that there's been a ``terrible miscarriage of justice. ``eric glisson is in the 18th year ``of a 25 to life murder sentence. ``he claims he's innocent. ``you ever been in prison before ``this? ``>> no. ``>> what's it like to live in ``prison? ``>> it's hell. ``>> 7:22, brutal killing of a ``recruiter is under ``investigation. ``>> nightmare began on the night
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``the new york city detectives ``lining this hallway in the bronx ``were entering a crime scene as ``chilling as it was violent. ``>> she had three pairs of ``handcuffs on her wrists. ``>> the victim's name was denise ``raymond. ``she was an executive with ``fed-ex. ``cops videoed the entire scene ``and anything that might seem ``important. ``>> detectives are mystified over ``the vicious killing of a ``successful executive. ``>> the case went to detective ``time ioell. ``he led a team of detectives who ``worked through the night ``knocking on dorrs and collecting ``evidence. ``then as the sun rose the next ``morning, some of the cops turned ``third attention to another ``murder, another bloody crime ``scene. ``this is the video police ``recorded of that second murder ``scene. ``it was seemingly unrelated but ``just a half mile away in the ``same precinct. ``this was a busy night for the ``murder business in the bronx.
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``7:15 a.m. on january 19th, 1995. ``>> this time, a liver ri cab ``driver of bath diop slumped over ``the steering wheel shot multiple ``times. ``the victim of an apparent ``robbery. ``the driver's money and cell ``phone were missing. ``the investigation of the cab ``driver's murder would be headed ``by 31-year-old detective mike ``don nolly working alongside ``detective aiello. ``the two detectives ended up ``putting their heads and their ``cases together concluding the ``same group of several people ``committed both murders. ``>> did you know the other ``people? ``>> i knew two of them. ``>> these are good friends of ``yours? ``>> acquaintances. ``>> february 4th, 1995. ``>> one of those goois was ``19-year-old michael cosme, the ``first suspect arrested. ``>> i have one thing to say, ``though. ``i'm innocent. ``i didn't do it. ``i wasn't there. ``>> eric was also questioned at
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``denied knowing anything about ``either killing. ``>> please don't blame me for ``something i have not done. ``why is this happening to me? ``i don't know what's going on. ``i just want to be with my ``daughter. ``if i knew what took place that ``night, if i knew who did ``anything, i would tell you. ``>> i'll give you the rights one ``more time. ``>> detectives did not believe ``him. ``eric glisson and five others ``were arrested for both murders. ``>> originally you were charged ``with both murders, denise ``raymond murder and cab driver ``murder. ``>> yes. ``>> but by time the time eric ``went to dril, prosecutors ``dropped charges against in the ``denise raymond case citing lack ``of evidence. ``so what evidence was there ``against him in the cab driver ``case? ``really pretty simple. ``there was a witness against him. ``her name -- miriam tavares. ``she told the cops she looked out ``the window and saw it all. ``eric and the others smack in the
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``in murder. ``is it possible that miriam saw ``you commit a crime? ``>> no. ``>> not any crime? ``>> i wasn't there. ``>> bad blood between you and ``miriam? ``>> yes. ``bad blood. ``>> she said she had a brief ``sexual relationship with miriam ``that didn't end well. ``>> you have a flung and cut her ``off abruptly, she may feel ``slighted. ``>> slighted enough to make you a ``murder snekt. ``>> i guess so. ``>> whatever her motivation, the ``question is, how reliable was ``she as a witness? ``all these years later, eric ``finally had someone to take ``another look at miriam's story. ``attorney peter cross. ``>> there's no doubt that this ``woman was lying. ``i went out to the crime scene ``and she could not possibly have ``seen what she said occurred. ``>> so what could miriam really ``see? ``here's the problem with miriam's ``story. ``from that police video, we know ``this is where the cab came to ``rest.
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``happened a couple of car lengths ``back, sort of where that red suv ``is. ``we know a man this that building ``called 911 when he heard the ``shots and he said he saw only ``one person running away from the ``scene. ``now, a couple of weeks later, ``miriam comes forward. ``she lives in that building over ``there. ``now you're looking at me from ``just outside the window through ``which miriam said she saw all of ``this happen. ``this has to be easily 100 yards ``away. ``and she says she saw six people ``from the neighborhood commit the ``crime. ``she says she heard what they ``said and she saw what they ``stole. ``and she said she saw all of it ``looking through this bathroom ``window. ``the only problem is, if you go ``back to where the shooting ``actually happened, it's pretty ``clear miriam couldn't have seen ``anything at all. ``>> she said from the bathroom ``window she heard these ``conversations going on inside ``the car. ``i mean, it's just incredible ``testimony. ``>> but what disturbed cross even
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``looked at the crime scene from ``the perspective you just did. ``>> wouldn't that sort of be ``standard operating procedure to ``check out what witnesses say? ``>> you would think so. ``i think they got on the horse ``early on in this case and they ``rode that horse and they weren't ``going to change direction. ``>> we wanted to speak with ``miriam tavares. ``she died of a drug overdose in ``2002. ``other than her testimony, tlefs ``no prince r prints, nothing, ``that tied eric or the others to ``the cab driver's murder. ``eastbound so, detectives don ``nelly and aiello went with what ``they had and closed both murder ``cases. ``within three weeks, they ``arrested their suspects and the ``bronx district attorney tried ``them. ``in all, six people were ``convicted. ``we'll call them the bronx six. ``five men and a woman. ``all sent away facing 25 to life. ``one of them was eric glisson. ``what's it like to hear that
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``>> it is like a shot in the ``chest. ``it is like your heart just ``melts. ``just dissolves. ``know, they read the wrong ``verdict. ``that this can't be true. ``>> the nypd was quite proud of ``detectives don nelly and ``aiello's work. ``so proud that five months after ``the arrests the department ``allowed the detectives to be ``about how they amazingly cracked ``the cases. ``>> how the detectives could have ``believed that and decided to run ``with this and send them to jail ``for the rest of their lives on ``the basis of this garbage still ``shocks me today. ``>> all these years later, ``attorney cross knew his opinion ``of the detective work in this ``case wasn't going to free eric ``glisson or anyone else. ``>> i think the only kind of ``evidence that's going to sway a ``court is if we can point to who ``the real killers are. ``>> that was quite a lot to hope ``for.
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``glisson was already on the ``trail. ``>> i got some documents and so i ``see this guy's name keeps coming ``up. `` a surprise visitor and an ``answered prayer. ``>> he said, i'm sorry. ``i know you're innocent. ``i know the guys who committed ``this crime. ``>> when "dateline" continues. now you can create yourrown tour of italy at olive garden, starting at $12.99. rchoose 3 of 10 favoritesrto enjoy on one plate. r plus unlimited saladr and breadsticks. the best tour of italyr is the one you create.
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`` these are the people we're ``calling the bronx six, five men ``and a woman. ``all convicted and sent away for ``25 years to life for committing
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``all insisted they were innocent. ``we met one of them, eric ``glisson, in sing sing, where ``from behind bars he'd been ``trying to get answers ever since ``he was locked up. ``>> i've been fighting these ``people for years. ``asking for documents which they ``deny me at every turn. ``>> they're not going to convict ``me for something that i didn't ``do and just expect me to accept ``it. ``i'm going to fight to the end. ``i'm a fighter. ``i die on my feet, not on my ``knees. ``>> as the years passed, eric ``took college courses offered by ``the prison. ``he learned about the law and ``fought his case. ``>> how did he get that evidence ``in his possession? ``>> the courts denied all his ``appeals. ``>> i don't -- i don't have any ``appeals left. ``nothing. ``>> it was a lonely fight and ``then in 2006 he met sister ``joanna khan in one of the ``prison's programs, the woman he
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``>> there's particular dark time. ``he would say, grandma, it's ``really hard. ``>> i just lost my last appeal. ``i don't know what i'm going to ``do. ``>> i always say let's keep the ``faith and let's go and pray and ``i said, we have many, many ``sister praying with you. ``>> sister joanna offered more ``than just her prayers. ``that's when she brought in peter ``cross who was now fighting for ``eric on the outside. ``>> so you have detective don ``nelly as the officer assigned. ``>> yep. ``>> with eric as his guide, cross ``got up to speed. ``to have any chance of having ``another day in court eric knew ``he'd need powerful evidence, ``evidence of actual innocence. ``he started thinking. ``if he and the other five ``co-defendants had nothing to do ``with the two murders, then who ``did? ``after more than a decade of ``trying, finally, some of eric's ``requests for documents in his
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``>> i came across one document ``which had my name as well as my ``other co-defendants and one name ``stood out, it was an individual ``i found out was part of a gang ``called sex, money, murder. ``>> eric was on to an important ``lead. ``sex, money, murder. ``seven veteran cops knew those ``three words meant danger and ``notorious gang from the ``foundview section of the bronx. ``>> 1997, october, sex, murder oney, ``murder became my assignment. ``>> this was all sex, money, ``murder territory? ``>> yeah. ``we are in the heart of it. ``>> while investigating the gang, ``an informant told him details of ``a crime the gang members had ``committed. ``>> there was a cab driver who ``had been killed in the vicinity ``of soundview. ``>> he went to the south bronx to ``see if there was any truth to ``the story. ``>> early 1998, walked in the ``precinct.
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``detective squad room. ``>> you say what do you know? ``>> soundview. ``>> and the response? ``>> nothing that fit that ``description. ``>> but the informant insisted ``the murder did happen. ``>> you didn't only make one trip ``to the 43rd precinct. ``>> made two. ``nothing that fits that ``description ``description. ``>> any reason the police ``department bouldn't tell you the ``truth? ``>> i thought about that. ``>> he said the answer might be ``simple. ``as far as the nypd was ``concerned, this homicide was ``solved. ``closed. ``>> the detective may have looked ``only in the open homicide drawer ``and never bothered to even look ``to see if there's anything other ``than an unsolved homicide that ``fit that description. ``>> as far as you know, that's ``the end of it i moved on. ``>> he soon retired from the nypd ``not knowing six people had ``already been convicted. ``meantime, eric was stuck in ``prison. ``it wasn't until 2012, 14 years
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``came in the form of cell phone ``records. ``remember, the cab driver's cell ``phone had been stolen by whoever ``killed him. ``>> i found hundreds of calls ``after his death. ``>> the records showed the first ``call was made from the victim's ``phone minutes after the ``shooting. ``the numbers called traced back ``to relatives of two sex, money, ``murder gang members of jose ``rodriguez and gilbert vega. ``eric believed he finally had ``evidence showing who the real ``killers were. ``>> took me 16, 17 years to get ``those through freedom of ``information. ``>> they were never provided to ``the defense? ``>> no. ``it turns out that the police and ``the district attorney had all ``the evidence at their disposal ``to solve this crime from the ``beginning. ``>> so he wrote a letter to the ``u.s. attorney proclaiming his ``innocence and detailing the ``information he'd found out about ``the sex, money, murder gang. ``it was a hail mary pass. ``in an amazing stroke of luck,
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``man's desk. ``his name, john o'malley, an ``investigator for the u.s. ``attorney in new york. ``days after reading eric's ``letter, o'malley made a personal ``trip to see eric in sing sing. ``>> immediately, john o'malley ``just stood up and he asked me. ``did you write this letter? ``i said, yes. ``he shook my hand and said i'm ``sorry. ``i said sorry for what? ``he says, you know, i know you're ``innocent. ``when he said that, i said, what ``are you talking about, sir? ``he said, listen. ``i know the guy that is committed ``this crime. ``>> how did o'malley know? ``he worked with detective ``forselli on the gang case ten ``years earlier and back then the ``two gang members, jose and ``gilbert actually confessed the ``cab driver shooting to o'malley. ``>> he said, when i read this ``letter, everything just came ``back to me from that day. ``i put it altogether. ``when these guys confessed to me. ``>> o'malley didn't want to
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``also checked with the nypd after ``the confessionings in 2002 and ``like the detective before him, ``o'malley was told there was no ``record of the crime. ``after getting eric's letter in ``2012, o'malley addressed the ``court in a sworn affidavit ``stating that eric glisson and ``the others were innocent of the ``cab driver's shooting. ``armed with that kind of ``statement, you'd think eric ``would be literally home free. ``you'd be wrong. `` coming up, eric glisson ``isn't giving up. ``>> this is my wall of hope. ``everyone here has been unjustly ``convicted and freed. ``>> will his own picture ever be ``on it?
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`` for the first time in his ``18-year struggle to prove that ``he didn't pull a trigger eric ``glisson finally had his hands on ``a smoking gun. ``an affidavit from a federal ``investigator saying eric was ``innocent. ``>> he asked me, do i have an ``attorney? ``i told him, yeah. ``i said, i promise you i'll call ``this lawyer today. ``>> so i was standing online in a ``bank. ``>> peter cross remembers that ``phone call.
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``office. ``we know that innocent is client. ``that was such an emotional ``moment for me. ``i, like, tears welled up in my ``teller. ``>> i thank god every day for ``john o'malley. ``when i looked in that man's ``eyes, you know, i see a man who ``had integrity. ``i saw a man who was honest. ``enough for the bronx d.a. to ``reopen the case. ``and to get in front of a judge. ``but that would take time. ``two more months. ``but now at least eric had reason ``to hope and in his cell he ``assembled a little photo gallery ``of whoers who have been ``exonerated. ``>> this is my wall of hope. ``everyone here has been unjustly ``convicted and freed. ``>> on august 5th, 2012, eric's ``lawyer goes to court. ``>> this is our first appearance ``to try to get the judgment ``vacated.
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``assistant shar main chester. ``by now, they have worked on the ``case for six years. ``>> i want to see him out. ``i said i'm not visiting you here ``again. ``this is it. ``>> finally, cross argues his ``case to the judge. ``>> my client is 17 years plus in ``a jail. ``>> it doesn't go down like a ``hollywood script. ``prosecutors do not admit there's ``been a terrible mistake. ``>> your honor, we'll be seeking ``an extension of the time to ``answer those questions. ``>> how much of an extension are ``the people seeking? ``>> just -- your honor, 30 days. ``>> another month. ``cross is frustrated. ``>> he told me they were starting ``the investigation in june ``looking into this matter. ``i was able to get my papers ``ready and it seems to me that ``another couple of weeks should ``be enough to get a response to ``the motion. ``>> you have heard the saying ``that the wheels of justice grind ``slowly? ``now you've got a front-row seat. ``>> we have been trying to put ``together facts and circumstances
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``>> is there any point in time ``you make the determination that ``you're going to concede, i will ``-- ``>> translation -- this isn't ``going to end today. ``eric stays in prison. ``but two weeks later, peter cross ``heads to sing sing. ``earlier that morning he'd gotten ``a call from the d.a.'s office ``and he has good news for eric. ``>> i received a call from the ``d.a. in the bronx telling me ``deal. ``>> i'm going up now to see eric, ``to talk to him about the ``conditions for his release. ``>> eric's used to visits from ``his lawyer. ``>> good to see you. ``>> and very used to keeping his ``own hopes -- ``>> looking good. ``>> thank you. ``>> -- on ice. ``>> get you -- ``>> yeah. ``i was working out running. ``jogging. ``>> you know i wouldn't be coming ``up here -- ``>> cross wants to make sure this ``sinks in and so he slowly
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``look. ``i got a call from ed pullty ``today saying that we have a ``proposal for you. ``the d.a. is now prepared to give ``you a conditional dismissal of ``the indictment and vacate the ``conviction. ``>> today? ``>> not going to be today. ``but it will be by the 13th i ``think. ``>> wow. ``>> do you believe that? ``>> well, it hasn't set in yet. ``>> i know. ``>> the initial shock. ``>> i know. ``>> all the fighting we have done ``over these years. ``>> yeah. ``>> um -- i don't know what to ``say right now. ``>> but, unfortunately for eric, ``a month later he's still behind ``bars. ``>> these people just don't want ``to let me go. ``they want to continue to hold me ``and torture me.
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``going through right now because ``of this, i'm wondering whether, ``you know, they may renege on ``this agreement. ``>> as excruciate ing as the hours ``are, eric shares something with ``that's helped him wake up every ``morning. ``>> there's a bench by the water ``that each time i go to the ``barbershop i look at that bench ``able to look from down there up ``here. ``that's one of my main goals ``while i was in here, to sit on ``that bench as a free man. ``>> coming up -- will eric ``glisson ever get to sit on that ``bench? ``he finally gets his day in ``court. ``>> we have the decision to take ``this unprecedented and ``exceptional step. ``>> when "dateline" continues. than verizon, at&t andt @ r independent measurement. nso, extended by popular demand, we're still cutting``` prices in half. r most verizon, at&t ort r
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`` this bench outside sing sing ``is only a few hundred yards from ``the prison but to eric it might ``as well be in china. ``how many times you look at that ``bench?
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``>> and thinking i'll be on there ``one day? ``>> i want to see what it looks ``like from that bench to the ``window because all i know is ``what it looks like from the ``window to the bench. ``>> finally, on october 22nd, ``2012, four months after a ``federal investigator vouched for ``eric's innocence his day in ``court has come. ``eric's been transferred from ``sing sing and is waiting in a ``holding cell in the bronx county ``courthouse. ``>> apparently the court officers ``were advised -- ``>> it's a long, painful road for ``lawyer peter cross. ``>> kept me up at night for six ``years because i knew we had to ``find like the one-armed man to ``get him out of jail. ``>> eric walks into the ``courtroom. ``>> number 4 and 5 on the ``calendar, eric glisson. ``>> standing next to him is cathy ``watkins, the only woman of the ``bronx six. ``like eric, she was tried only
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``in 1997 they went on trial ``together. ``eric says he doesn't know her ``now and didn't know her then. ``>> when trial started, the ``officers bringing us up to the ``court and an officer says this ``is watkins. ``i said, cathy watkins? ``she said, who are you? ``i said, i'm eric glisson. ``how are you involved this? ``she said, i don't know. ``how are you involved? ``when's going on? ``we both didn't know. ``we was confused. ``>> now 18 years later, assistant ``district attorney nicole quur ``ri's office believes there may ``have been a misunderstanding. ``the d.a.'s office continues to ``investigate. ``>> we have made a decision to ``take this unprecedented as you ``know, judge, an exceptional step ``that we are going to consent the ``conditional va katding of the ``conviction for these two ``defendants and the conditions ``being that the defendants do ``wear those electronic monitoring
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``>> all that's left now is for ``the judge to make it official. ``>> the record reflects that the ``official vacater of the ``conviction as to mr. glisson and ``ms. watkins is granted and each ``defendant is released on their ``own recog any sans. ``[ applause ] ``>> eric's friends and family and ``the news media are waiting for ``him outside. ``and now, for the first time in ``nearly two decades, eric glisson ``is about to take his first steps ``as a free man. ``>> eric, what is your emotion ``right now? ``>> this is the major points in ``my life and i worked hard. ``i persevered. ``and with effort and
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``before you. ``>> now, it's his co-defendant ``cathy watkin's turn also ``wrongfully convicted. ``>> 17 years. ``>> almost 18. ``>> she was 29 when she went ``away. ``now she is 46. ``>> i didn't do it. ``100% innocent. ``i'm innocent. ``all the way. ``>> by january 2013, the ``convictions for the rest of the ``bronx six were overturned. ``for both the cab driver murder ``and fed-ex executive denise ``raymond. ``this is carlos perez, 25 when he ``was locked up. ``>> i even wrote -- to 1995. ``just clinton, bush? ``i don't know. ``clinton. ``the president. ``we're innocent. ``nobody listened. ``>> davon ayers. ``he was 19 when he was convicted.
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``of my 30s there and trying to ``get on with life as i know it as ``today. ``>> and michael cosme. ``remember him? ``>> i have one thing to say, ``though. ``i'm innocent. ``i didn't do it. ``i wasn't there. ``>> this is michael today. ``18 years later. ``finally, someone believed him. ``and while we now know those two ``gang members confessed to the ``cab driver murder, fed-ex ``executive denise raymond's ``killer or killers have never ``been brought to justice. ``we wanted to speak to someone ``from the nypd or the bronx ``district attorney's office but ``both declined comment citing the ``multiple civil suits they face ``as the bronx six seek millions ``in damages against new york ``city. ``and those two detectives, don ``nelly and aiello portrayed as ``super sleuths in 1995 are now ``both retired and didn't have ``anything to say to us.
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``for the city of new york deny ``that either detective threatened ``witnesses or falsified ``statements. ``and point out that several ``juries heard the witnesses' ``testimony of the time and ``believed them. ``as for eric, it's finally a new ``day and a new life. ``one full of amazing discoveries. ``>> hello? ``>> no, no. ``upside down. ``>> huh? ``>>. `` coming up, no prison bars. ``no prison guards. ``and doors he can open himself. ``eric glisson's first night of ``freedom in almost 20 years. ``>> wow! `` and a reunion with a woman ``who helped him win it. ``>> oh my god! ``grandma. t "beth" by kiss beth, i heart you calling...z but i can't comer home right now...\ me and the boyst are playing...z
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how'd it go? t r there's my smile! t with fresh, delicious,r r only at mcdonald's. `` this way. ``>> listen, man. ``>> it's october 22nd, 2012. ``after living in a prison cell
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``finally a free man. ``>> turning down to shelby pier. ``>> and we are by his side as he ``experiences all of it. ``>> oh! ``i seen this in the magazine. ``>> eric's first few hours of ``freedom -- ``>> hello? ``>> are part exhilaration. ``>> hello? ``>> part discovery. ``>> hello? ``>> he's never actually used a ``cell phone. ``>> yeah. ``where's cynthia? ``hello? ``>> you have it upside down, ``eric. ``>> hello. ``>> no, no, upside down. ``like this? ``>> hello? ``huh? ``like the commercial? ``that was my first cell phone ``call. ``first cell phone call.
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``lamb chops. ``>> wow. `` it's like jumping up out of the ``a coffin and walking. ``you know? ``it is like being read your last ``rites. ``and all of a sudden, a miracle ``happens. ``some doctor that just comes ``walking in the room and knows ``exactly how to resuscitate you. ``you're back living again and ``you're back out in society an ``you're wondering, you know, will ``they accept you? ``yeah. ``you see? ``>> on his first night of ``freedom, eric's lawyer treats ``him to a hotel room. ``>> i have a key that's a plastic ``card. ``wow. ``oh, this is excellent.
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``got to be at least a 46-inch tv. ``bed. ``i used to sleep on a metal frame ``and now i'm on a comfortable ``bed. ``>> but the real joy for eric is ``reuniting with his daughter ``cynthia ``cynthia. ``>> ready, set go. ``>> she was a week old when he ``was arrested. ``now she's nearly 18. ``>> you cheated. ``you cheated. ``>> shh. ``>> and that degree he began ``working on behind bars? ``eric started taking classes ``again two days after his ``release. ``and finally, received that long
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``college. ``today, a fully exonerated eric ``glisson is a businessman. ``an entrepreneur. ``>> i'm doing everything single ``handedly. ``the reconstruction of the ``ceiling. ``going to be four tables. ``>> on the one-year anniversary ``of his release, eric opened a ``fresh juice business that he ``built himself named fresh take. ``>> afternoon, sir. ``how are you doing? ``>> nice place you have here. ``>> thanks. ``>> where did you get fresh take? ``>> i knew that i had a fresh ``take on life. ``i'm free now. ``i'm no longer the victim. ``i'm the victor. ``i won. ``>> you seem to have come through ``this remarkably free of ``bitterness and anger or you're ``hiding it very well. ``>> well, i don't have any ``animosity against anybody at ``this point. ``except the people who raised the ``prices. ``because the strawberry's the ``primary thing. ``>> that's crime.
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``i mean -- ``>> eric has a business partner. ``someone he met when he was still ``locked up. ``>> he's become my brother. ``>> it's charmain chester. ``>> they opened their store in ``late 2013. ``eric says he loves it. ``>> pivotal point in my life. ``taught -- gave me a lot of ``tools. ``>> on this day, we had a little ``surprise for him. ``he hasn't seen sister joanna ``khan since he's been released. ``the woman that put eric on a ``quest for freedom all those days ``ago. ``>> working together ``collectively. ``oh my god! ``oh my god! ``oh my god! ``grandma. ``grandma. ``oh my god.
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``>> thank you. ``oh my god. ``they told me you were in china. ``>> i was. ``>> eric has now been a free man ``for more than three years. ``>> it's rough. ``it's not the walk in to the ``sunset that everyone expects. ``life that will be with me ``forever. ``i can't unshake them. ``>> and he said he's not the only ``one who's been having a hard ``time. ``>> like especially with my ``daughter, cynthia, our ``relationship has been strained. ``still since a lot of resentment ``of my absence. ``for a major part of her life. ``>> but now, there's a new person ``for whom eric can be fully ``present. ``cynthia has a new sister. ``meet baby scarlet. ``>> i have a second chance to ``raise a daughter. ``to be in her life. ``to take her to the park. ``horsey back rides. ``you know?
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``and hopefully one day give her ``hand away in marriage. ``there's no price for that. ``>> and what's the price for ``unjustly spending 18 years in ``prison? ``eric and the rest of the bronx ``six all filed lawsuits against ``both the state and city of new ``york for their wrongful ``convictions. ``the state settled, each of the ``original defendants was awarded ``$3.9 million. ``the lawsuit against the city of ``new york is still pending. ``there was one last thing we ``wanted to do with eric. ``remember that bench eric could ``see from inside sing sing? ``not too long after his release ``we took him back there. ``and watched him finally make ``good on that promise to himself.
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