Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Freed Man Vows to Help Others Wrongly Jailed and At-Risk Youths

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Freed Man Vows to Help Others Wrongly Jailed and At-Risk Youths

Article excerpt

Lee Otis Griffin said Friday he no longer needs his "Lee O. Griffin Freedom and Justice Committee," but it will serve two new purposes:

Helping others who may have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned.

Steering young people away from behavior that could lead to jail or prison. Griffin, 38, disclosed his plans at a welcome home lunch Friday in Belleville to celebrate his release from prison six weeks ago. He spent 15 1/2 years in prison for a triple murder he said he did not commit. Surrounded by friends and family, he said Thanksgiving had been his best ever. "Since my release, every day has been Thanksgiving," he said. "I feel like they sent me down on a raft, and I'm coming back on a speedboat. I'm just being showered with love and affection. I'm just blessed." Because of that, "I want to give something back now," he told reporters. "I want to do something that says, `These 16 years haven't been in vain.' " In prison, the joke is that everybody is innocent, Griffin said. …

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