Exonerated: Am I Really Free?

“If these people don’t ever release me from prison, if I exhaust all my remedies in court, I’m gonna make these people kill me,” Daniel Taylor said to his brother, David Taylor during the third time that David purposefully got himself incarcerated in order to spend time with Daniel. When Daniel Taylor was 17, he was wrongly convicted of a double murder that he physically could not have committed.  Police investigators beat him into the false confession that sealed his fate and withheld the evidence that proved he had been in police custody for disorderly conduct at the time the murders occurred.  Daniel spent two decades of his life sentence looking out from behind bars knowing that he had every right to be free.  On June 28th, 2013, the charges against Daniel were dropped and he was released from maximum-security prison in Menard, IL.  According to the National Registry of Exonerations, Daniel was the 90th to be exonerated in Cook County since 1989 and the 34th to be wrongfully convicted based on a faulty confession.  This is the story of Daniel’s acclimation back into society, his fight to keep his past from dictating his future, and his slow realization about what it really means to be free. Video produced for the Chicago Tribune.  All images Copyright Chicago Tribune.