Many across the world have been touched by the infamous tale of resilience that Yusef Salaam and his Central Park Five counterparts, now referred to as the Exonerated 5, had to endure for years as wrongfully-convicted prisoners behind bars.
Salaam is now reportedly taking his highly-publicized second chance at life all the way to the New York public office with an eye on filling the seat being left behind by Harlem State Senator Brian Benjamin.
With Benjamin pursuing a nomination last week to be New York’s next lieutenant governor, Salaam is using the opportunity to enact change on the very issues that unjustly landed him behind bars, including police brutality, the abolition of juvenile solitary confinement and prison reform in the criminal justice system overall.
Here’s how the NY Daily News projects the road ahead for Yusef, which could see him facing some viable opponents on his road to office:
“Salaam has his work cut out for him. Although Benjamin has yet to officially vacate the seat, other likely candidates for the post include state Assembly members Al Taylor and Inez Dickens, who represent adjoining parts of the 30th Senate district.
The district includes Harlem, East Harlem and the Upper West Side.
The unforgettable experience for Salaam, along with Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana, proved to be one that made for the ultimate cautionary tale for many young Black men in similar situations. It’s for that reason and many others that speak to his character that we feel he’d make a great leader in New York City politics. Good luck!
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Exonerated! Falsely Accused Black Folks Freed From Prison
1. Walter Forbes
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“I don’t hold contempt for the people who lied to convict me ... The reason is selfish: I wasn’t going to allow them to destroy me," said Walter Forbes, freed and exonerated last week after 37 years with the help of @UofMInnocence. https://t.co/WfanIitchU— The Innocence Project (@innocence) December 14, 2020
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An innocent Philadelphia man has been freed after spending 19 years in prison because two police officers wrongly claimed he’d raped a woman and then shot at them, when he’d in fact saved her from a different man .Attorneys for Termaine Joseph Hicks claim cops made up the story . pic.twitter.com/FJp5DQUMoQ— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) December 18, 2020
3. Clifford Williams, Nathan Myers
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After a combined 86 years incarcerated for a crime they did not commit, Clifford Williams Jr. and his nephew, Nathan Myers, were exonerated and released last week! Mr. Myers was 18 when he was arrested and is now 61. Mr. Williams was 33 and is now 76. https://t.co/EH2qPCspEj— Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org) April 5, 2019
4. Calvin BrightSource:WUSA9 4 of 14
5. Kevin Baker, Sean Washington
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Kevin Baker and Sean Washington received life terms in 1996 that were overturned on appeal in December https://t.co/MSWoxkwPzi— Courier-Post (@cpsj) February 4, 2020
6. Theophalis Wilson
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Theophalis Wilson was 17-years-old when he was falsely accused of a triple murder in Philadelphia and sentenced to life in prison. Now, 28 years later, he finally has his freedom. He spoke with @KeithJones https://t.co/mVDISp68hy pic.twitter.com/RQ2pEdZBfM— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) January 22, 2020
7. Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins, and Andrew Stewart
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And they are out: Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart walk out of the Baltimore city courthouse after 36 yrs for a crime they didn’t do: pic.twitter.com/5UDGWMZmOB— Tom Jackman (@TomJackmanWP) November 25, 2019
8. Deandre Charles8 of 14
9. Exonerated Five - Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise9 of 14
10. Anthony Ray Hinton
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Name: Anthony Ray Hinton, who was on Alabama’s Death Row for nearly 30 years for a murder he didn’t commit. In 2018, he wrote about his experience in the NYT bestseller, The Sun Does Shine.— City of Birmingham (@cityofbhamal) October 4, 2019
Occupation: Works in community education with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery pic.twitter.com/EwiaJueimb
11. Lamar Johnson11 of 14
12. Wilbert Jones
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Louisiana man freed from prison after serving 43 years for a crime he did not commit. Wilbert Jones was arrested in 1971 at the age of 19 and convicted of rape in 1974. A judge overturned his conviction weeks ago. He still had to pay $2,000 bail before becoming a free man today. pic.twitter.com/LYV4gbTPOf— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) November 15, 2017
13. Xavier DavisSource:Courtesy of Xavier Davis 13 of 14
14. Huwe Burton
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2,372nd Exon: Huwe Burton was convicted in 1991 for stabbing his mother to death when he was 16. He was exonerated on Jan 24th after an investigation showed that his confession was coerced and that his mother's real killer was likely a downstairs neighbor. https://t.co/TM3f76moQ5 pic.twitter.com/rsU1NlPr2y— Exoneration Registry (@exonerationlist) February 4, 2019
Yusef Salaam Of Exonerated 5 Reportedly Set To Run For Harlem State Senator was originally published on blackamericaweb.com