Today, upon hearing of the release of Darrell Siggers last Friday, Proving Innocence quickly made contact. Two hours later, Darrell was handed $800 for his immediate living expenses. It was an awesome feeling to sit across from a man who had spent 35 years in prison, and be able to hand him, not $20, but money that can really make a difference and help him get established in the days ahead. I was very moved and proud of the work of PI.
Dr. Marvin Zalman, a PI adviser, was able to drive over and join me for when Darrell and his son, Darrell, Jr., rang the doorbell. The conversation flowed for nearly an hour. Darrell is articulate about everything from technical points of the law to his feelings of being overwhelmed by all the new things he must learn. When Darrell was in prison, he wasn't one to play a lot of games or just watch TV. He spent his time in the law library, studying so he could prove his innocence. Now that he is out, like any good student, he is excited at the anticipation of what he will learn about life. Darrell is also eager to help others who continue to experience the ravages of wrongful convictions.
Darrell informed us that he had to leave and get to the Secretary of State. About half an hour after they left, I thought about the two Darrells, father and son, waiting to get the son his driver license. There are a lot of things for which Darrell will need to depend upon from others to get re-established, but I couldn't help but think what a difference it will make in their day and how different they feel about things, knowing that Darrell can pay for his own driver license, rather than to rely on others for every basic need.