Because of the tireless and selfless work of the Innocence Project, another innocent inmate has thankfully been set free.
Some of you may have read about the story of Daniel Larson that made national news back in March. There’s a back side to the story that should provide hope that regardless of how dire your own personal circumstances may be, it’s that good can spring forth from bad things that happen to us.
I got to know Danny quite well over time because of Ryan’s tender heart and compassion for those who are less fortunate than he.
Due to the exorbitant fees charged by telephone companies under contract with the state prisons, many of the families of the inmates [both men and women] cannot afford to receive their collect calls.
This obviously results in families being torn apart and further alienated from their loved ones.
Ryan would often ask us if we would connect three-way calls between various inmates and one of their family members [okay, we connected calls to the occasional girlfriend, as well]. We soon discovered that it had been years, and even decades, since some of these inmates had even spoken with a family member.
One of those requests Ryan made was on behalf of Danny. Out of the blue, Danny one day called and asked Kathy to patch him through to a long-lost female friend that he heard had been widowed years before.
Long story short. Boy meets girl. Boy eventually marries girl while in prison. Girl works tirelessly to free her man. This rare but happy ending can be read about in the article above.
One common thread that most innocent inmates share, including Ryan and Danny, is the issue of eyewitness misidentification. The Innocence Project provides these staggering statistics on their website that highlights how common the problem actually is:
Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.
We take great hope from Danny’s story that good can come from bad, and the light of truth is far more powerful than the darkness of destitution. The victory requires faith in God, trust in His plan, and a collective effort of helping hands from caring people.
While we would love to take a page out of the late Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s book to “Vote early, and vote often” in regards to signing the petition for review to California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, we would ask that you would only sign the petition one time.
As an aside, if you know of anyone experienced in public relations who may be interested in spreading the word about Ryan’s case, we would love to hear from you.
Finally, on behalf of Ryan and the entire Madden family, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers, contributions, words of encouragement, and endless support as we continue to fight the good fight.