Arrested at 13 for a murder he didn't commit, Thaddeus Jimenez spent more than 16 years in jail before his conviction was tossed out and the man originally fingered for the crime was arrested.
Jimenez is believed to be the youngest person convicted of a crime who has been exonerated in the United States.
He was tried as an adult and sentenced to 45 years in jail -- despite the fact that an alleged accomplice in the murder insisted that another teen been the shooter and that police were provided with a tape in which that teen confessed.
This is why no person of good moral conscience can support the death penalty.
Our prosecutors and our courts make mistakes. More concerned with promotions than justice, the prosecutors sent an innocent 13 year old boy to prison even though a witness and a taped confession pointed at the truly guilty man.
Thaddeus Jimenez is free, and he is still young enough to have something of a life left to him. But how does the state make amends when they wrongfully lock up someone for their entire life and then release them when they are too old to have much life left at all? Does any amount of money really compensate for a youth and prime of life spent behind bars?
When the state wrongfully executes the innocent, which we know has happened, there is no way to give back the life the state has taken.