- A man, Joe Ligon, finally got the kind of freedom he wanted after years of rejecting a release with parole
- Charged as a teenager for robbery and a series of stabbing incidents, the man spent a total of 68 years behind bars
- According to his lawyer, Bradley Bridge, Ligon is now a reformed man and is not dangerous to society in any way
Our manifesto: This is what YEN.com.gh believes in
Joe Ligon, a man who was jailed in 1953 as a juvenile has finally been released after spending 68 years in prison. He is believed to be the longest-serving juvenile lifer in the US.
CNN reports that he was sentenced at the age of 15 after he was found guilty of robbery and stabbing in Philadelphia with four other teens.
In his interview with the media, the man said he “got caught up, in terms of being in the streets”. While he was found guilty of murder, his counsel, Bradley Bridge said his client never took anyone’s life.
Talking about him further, Bradley stated that the child who was into nefarious activities is no more and the person released in 2021 at the age of 83 has changed.
"I'm a grownup now. I'm not a kid anymore. Not only am I a grown man, I'm an old man and getting older every day."
It should be noted that he was once granted clemency in 1970 by the then Pennsylvania governor. Ligon rejected the offer because it came with parole.
In 2017, the man yet again refused an offer of parole. A year before that, there was a law that found juvenile life sentences without the option of parole illegal.
With the new law, Ligon was resentenced to 35 years after spending decades in prison, a move that made him qualified for parole. But the man said no, explaining that it would not give him the freedom he desired.
Speaking about what he would do with his freedom, the old man revealed he will use his time to enrich people's lives.
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that a man, Walter Forbes, who was jailed for almost 40 years was freed after a witness withdrew her statement.
Life turned gloomy for Forbes as a college student in 1982 when he intervened between two groups of people fighting in front of a Michigan bar.
In a grave reaction, one of the fighters Dennis Hall, shot at Forbes the next day. Later, Hall was reported dead in an arson fire. With that, Forbes was sentenced to life jail time.
Enjoy reading our stories?
Download YEN's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major Ghana news!