- Ryan Matthews has been released after being wrongfully given a five-year jail sentence on death row
- Then 17 years, Matthews was wrongly accused of killing a man
- After five years on death row, Matthews was exonerated and set free
- Matthews has finally graduated with a degree after his release
Our Manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in
At 17 years old, Ryan Matthews was wrongly accused of killing a man which led to a death sentence placed on him two years later.
In April 1997, a man in a ski mask shot and killed a 43-year-old owner of Comeaux's Market in Bridge City, Louisiana, right across the river from New Orleans.
Investigators thought Matthews, a black teenager, killed the white business owner, and he was later found guilty by one black juror and 11 white jurors, WFAA in Dallas reported.
Activists rallied, and his family fought. DNA evidence eventually proved their case, and the real killer confessed.
After five years on death row, Matthews was exonerated, set free, and moved to Texas.
"All these years ago when I first came home, a reporter asked me what I wanted to do, and I told them I wanted to go to school," he said.
And he followed through on that promise to himself and graduated from Texas Woman's University in Denton with a bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences at 39.
Moved by Matthews' story, his sister is set to pursue a PhD and his 71-year-old mother who has also enrolled in the university.
His mother, Pauline, said she's "proud, proud, proud," as she could be.
Matthews said he can feel bitter about his experience, though his feelings are nuanced.
"I am because of what happened, but I can't because it would stop me from moving forward ... I'm trying to be the best I can be," he said.
In other stories, YEN.com.gh reported amid the social stigma and stereotype against women who opt for or undergo caesarean section, a Ghanaian woman has died after her husband’s pastor allegedly advised against the surgery.
Caesarean section, also known as C-section, or caesarean delivery, is the use of surgery to deliver babies. The surgery is often necessary when a 'normal delivery' would put the baby or mother at risk.
Yaw Asamoah Akowuah, revealed via social media that: ''a friend lost the wife last week because at church, their pastor had told him not to allow the wife have CS.''
He painfully disclosed that during their last scan, it emerged that owing to the weight of the baby and how the child was positioned, it was advisable that they have the child through CS.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download YEN's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major Ghana news!
Your stories and photos are always welcome. Get interactive via our Facebook page.
Hurray! YEN.com.gh has won the ''Online News Portal of the Year'' award at NCA awards 2019. Click here to view the beautiful photos.