The Netflix documentary, When They See Us, has shined the spotlight on wrongful convictions.
It centers on the Central Park five in New York, who were wrongfully accused and convicted of a rape.
A partial screening of the documentary at a Wilmington church brought out two Delaware men to speak about their overturned convictions.
Elmer Daniels and Jermaine Wright were both convicted of crimes in Delaware that were eventually overturned. Daniels spent 39 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit and was released last December.
Just like in the New York case, both men spent time in prison before being released, though most of those involved the New York case were already released when their convictions were overturned. The five in the New York case sued and settled for millions of dollars--that hasn't happened in either the Daniels or the Wright cases.
Wright was Delaware's longest-serving death row inmate, spending more than 20 years there, for a liquor store murder. He said there was little justice in his case.
"These cops did not uphold the law--rather they broke the law--and instead of being punished for the crimes they committed, they go on and lived their lives," said Wright.
Wright added his time in prison still hurts him.
"They still got the cuffs on me, as I live or try to live when it comes to jobs, in terms of moving forward," said Wright. "My opportunities are suppressed because of my wrongful conviction."
Wright did enter a no contest plea after he was charged again following the overturned conviction, but it was not an admission of guilt on his part. He was credited for time served.
Daniels said even though he was ultimately convicted, prior to trial, he was offered three plea deals, including one that would have set him free after he was in jail, but he didn't take it.
"Because of background demographics," said Daniels. "I hadn't done anything, I'm young; I'm just 21 now, and I want my life, but something inside me knew if you do this, this is going to follow you the rest of your life."
Daniels added he wasn't the only victim in his case--his family also fell victim to his wrongful conviction. To this day, Daniels said he's never received an apology from the state of Delaware.
Both men spoke at an event hosted by the Delaware Center for Justice and DETV28 at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington on June 20, 2019.