Burden of Innocence
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The exonerated talk about their newfound freedom, the deep scars left by years of unjust, harrowing imprisonment, and experts assess the psychological damage that results from being wrongfully imprisoned.

THE BITTERNESS OF FREEDOM
Released after years of wrongful imprisonment, most of these exonerated men have had very difficult times adjusting -- emotionally, financially, and work-wise. Here, in their own words, the men featured in "Burden of Innocence" talk about their personal struggles.
A PERPETUAL BATTLE OF THE MIND
In an Oct. 31, 2002, memo to FRONTLINE, psychologist John Wilson detailed 10 emotional issues that affect the exonerated -- from the initial shock and betrayal to the painful search for meaning and the sense of abandonment, and more. Wilson is a professor of psychology at Cleveland State University. He testified about the psychological effects of wrongful imprisonment on behalf of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz at their civil trial.
HELL ON EARTH
The exonerated men talk about the years they spent in prison, the vain attempts to erase from their memories the horrors of life behind bars, and the ways that the day-to-day struggle to survive in prison carries over to life outside.
INTERVIEW: JOHN WILSON
In this interview with FRONTLINE, Wilson discusses the mental anguish of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, how the years in prison irrevocably and drastically changed them, and how the exonerated are often unable to enjoy the freedom of life on the outside.
INTERVIEW: CRAIG HANEY
Haney, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Santa Cruz, is an expert on the psychological effects of incarceration and wrongful convictions. Here, he discusses the ways in which prison life profoundly affects individuals, and how that experience is vastly different for an innocent person behind bars.

 

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published may 1, 2003

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