Would you admit to being a sex offender if you really didn’t do it?

What would you do to get out of jail?

Would you admit to committing a crime you didn’t commit?

What if you had a loved one waiting on the outside for you? Someone who loved you for you, and believed in your innocence?

Once in a while I read a story that blows my mind. This one involves a Texan who spend 30 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

Cornelius Dupree Jr. was convicted of rape and robbery in 1979. He was recently exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison after spending 30 years there.

But, according to the article, he could have been released much earlier if he had only admitted to the crime.

He refused to do so, and because of this refusal he stayed in jail.

That’s one of the problems with so many parole systems. Inmates are required to take responsibility for the crimes that landed them behind bars. I don’t have a problem with wanting someone to take responsibility for their actions. I think there’s enough evidence to support the contention that people go much further in life when they take personal responsability, and they quite blaming others for their own poor choices.

I also believe that more often than not, the system gets it right.

But I know that once in a while, innocent people get convicted. Cornelius Dupree Jr. is a prime example.

And knowing that every so often the system gets it wrong, should we refuse someone parole if they maintain that they didn’t do the crime they were convicted of?

Mr. Dupree was facing hard time. Convicted sex offenders are on the low end of the totem pole in prison.

I think many people would do whatever it takes to get out of jail and get on with life. I’m not sure what I would do, and I hope I never have to make that choice.

But what would you do if you found yourself in Mr. Dupree’s position? Would you admit to a crime you didn’t commit?

And, recognizing that sometimes people who maintain their innocence actually are innocent, should our parole system deny parole to all people who maintain that they are innocent of the crime for which they have been convicted?

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