Wrongly imprisoned man struggles to make it on the outside
POSTED: Friday, April 29, 2011 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Friday, October 21, 2011 - 1:01pm
New Orleans, La (NBC33) — Greg Bright spent 27 ½ years at Angola for murdering his neighbor, a crime he didn’t commit.
He maintained his innocence all along; Innocence Project - New Orleans came to his rescue, proved his innocence, and got him freed.
Even though Bright had been cleared of murder and proved he didn't do it, he can't get a decent job because there's still a felony conviction on his record.
Exonerated men don't qualify for Social Security, food stamps, welfare, or medicare, primarily because they've spent their entire lives in prison and haven't contributed to the system through income taxes since they haven't been able to work.
The most a wrongly imprisoned person can get from the state is $150,000 for all the years they've spent in prison for a crime they didn't commit. It's the second lowest compensation package in the country. Bright has been working to collect that money since he got cleared of murder charges eight years ago.
Also, imagine what's changed over the last thirty years… cell phones, computers, and other items that weren’t around when Bright went to jail. Men who break the law and serve their time get classes on how to re-enter society, but there is nothing for exhonerated men like Bright.
Tune in to NBC33 on April 29 when we take look at a day in the life of Greg Bright. Find out why he says being out of jail is almost as bad as being in jail.