Released From Prison After 22 Years, But Still ‘Locked Up’

January 16, 2015

After more than 20 years in prison, Tyrone Hood is out.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn granted 43 requests for clemency on his final day in office, and Hood’s case was one of them.

He had been in prison for murder for 22 years, despite serious doubts about his guilt — and strong evidence pointing to another perpetrator.

Writer Nicholas Schmidle brought fresh attention to this case last year in a New Yorker article, which he recounted for NPR in July. That was before Hood’s lawyers filed their clemency petition.

NPR’s Steve Inskeep spoke with both Schmidle and Hood this week, on the morning after Hood’s release. While Hood is free, he has yet to be pardoned. The murder charge is still on his record and he will continue to be on parole.

“I got to clear my name. I got to walk free,” Hood said. “Like, this ankle monitor that has to be on my leg, I’ve got to get that off. I feel like I’m still locked up, but in a different location.”

Hood shared what it’s like to walk out of prison after two decades, his feelings about the police officers and prosecutors responsible for his conviction and the lessons he learned behind bars.

“I learned to just be patient. Be quick to listen and slow to speak,” he said. “Don’t judge nobody.”

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