Response to Darrell Cannon’s Speech

Darrell was one of the best public speakers I have ever heard in my life.  Almost every part of his story was so extremely interesting from how he got to prison in the first place, to his life at Tamms, to his life now.  The one thing that really struck me was his attitude towards Burge and his “crew” that tortured him into confessing to a crime he really didn’t commit.  He said that he hates them every day of his life, and doesn’t expect his attitude to change ever.  I thought this was so interesting, since he seems like such a Christian man, one of moral character in principle, that he can’t seem to forgive these men for that they did to him.  Its understandable to me, they took away, what, 24 years of his life with his wife and children and family for something he never did.  If I were him and had some of the best years of my life taken from me, I’d couldn’t be angrier either.  What’s amazing about Darrell though, is that he doesn’t show how angry or mentally scarred he is from the whole experience.  He was so kind, and funny and happy and nice, if I ever met him on the street I would have never guessed he had been tortured and put in prison.  I really am awed at his optimism towards life, and his little part about “you can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do” almost made me cry.  And he’s right, look how far he’s come considering his circumstances.  I also thought it was interesting that he’s happy that Burge is being tried, even if it isn’t directly for the torturous crimes he committed to Cannon and a group of other wrongfully accused black men.  He’s just happy that he’s accused period, that justice has prevailed in one way or another.  I rode the elevator downstairs with Darrell, and he talked about how he speaks to anyone he can about this, and he still doesn’t think its enough.  I have nothing but respect for a man who went through such an experience, and chooses to talk about as much as possible to promote change.  He is amazing and I’m so happy I got the chance to meet such an inspirational person.

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