Thomas Raynard James, man wrongfully convicted for 3 decades, on his release: “I never stopped believing it would happen”

Thomas Raynard James is a loose guy after spending greater than 30 years in the back of bars for a homicide he didn’t devote. He walked out of a Florida jail on Wednesday, and sat down with CBS Miami’s Kendis Gibson tomorrow to discuss existence as a prisoner, and what is modified since he was once incarcerated.

“I by no means stopped believing it could occur,” he informed Gibson, talking of his liberate. 

Exonerated: Thomas Raynard James by way of
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James discovered he could be freed on Tuesday night time, and he was once out of jail not up to 24 hours later. After listening to the inside track, James mentioned he was once at peace and in a position to sleep during the night time that closing night time in jail. However first he spent numerous time speaking to fellow inmates and guards, telling them he was once leaving.

That night time, he mentioned he idea to himself: “The warfare, the struggle, the struggle, it is just about over.”

When he walked out Wednesday morning, the primary particular person he hugged was once his mother.

“That was once a heat feeling,” James mentioned. “That was once an actual hug.”

Afterwards, he had some convenience meals and slept in a “actual mattress.” James described the enjoyment he felt waking up and having the ability to stretch out his limbs with out the worry of falling off a bunk.

He mentioned over time spent in the back of bars he by no means gave up hope he would someday be freed. 

James was once convicted in 1991 of the 1990 dying of Francis McKinnon. As he described it to Gibson, James, then 23 years previous, was once arrested on an unrelated fee. He failed to seem in courtroom for a listening to and was once due to this fact arrested for McKinnon’s dying, months after the homicide. 

His trial lasted for 2 and a part days, he mentioned, and even though 9 fingerprints that didn’t fit his have been discovered on the scene, he was once convicted. An eyewitness had informed jurors she watched him gun down her stepfather throughout a theft in his Coconut Grove condo. 

Whilst in the back of bars, James, who’s now 55, mentioned he informed his tale to everybody who would concentrate: “When you had ears, I informed it to you.”

“I wasn’t gonna forestall till I used to be both loose or lifeless,” he later added.

Despite the fact that he believes that most of the people fascinated about his case — the jury, the prosecutors, the police — didn’t do their due diligence, James mentioned he has forgiven they all. And whilst he does not really feel he was once robbed of a existence, he is aware of he misplaced so much.

Previous to getting into prison, James sought after to be a businessman. He had opened a automotive wash and sought after to start out making an investment. He was hoping to marry and feature a circle of relatives, too.

Now, James will meet together with his lawyer to make a decision whether or not they may be able to sue for the wrongful conviction. If he succeeds with a lawsuit, he says he’d use the cash to get to a few of his goals and to help his transition again into society.

He did attempt to stay alongside of what was once happening on the earth whilst in the back of bars in order that he do not need an excessive amount of tradition surprise when he were given out. James mentioned he had get right of entry to to drugs and electronic mail whilst in jail. He attempted to learn up to he may just about technological advances, and mentioned he requested more moderen inmates questions in regards to the international past the jail partitions.

When he was once launched, despite the fact that, he mentioned he was once stunned by way of the tall constructions in downtown Miami, and the brand new automobiles at the street. Quickly, he’ll get his first smartphone.

James additionally needs to consult with his youth group, check out a Popeyes hen sandwich, which he is heard so much about, and experience the brand new trains.

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