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Life after a wrongful conviction: Meet Charles Jackson

Charles Jackson


He lost nearly 30 years of his life, but now he’s moving forward, leaving his anger behind and leading with love.

CLEVELAND — At 59 years old, Charles Jackson is finding his voice again, after it was silenced in 1991 when a jury convicted him of killing a man and trying to kill another.

Imagine carrying a label for nearly 30 years you didn’t deserve … you don’t have to imagine, if your name is Charles Jackson.

“It’s a like a certain type of feeling, humiliation or whatever, to hear, like,  ‘Convicted murderer’ or, you know, ‘He’s a killer,'” Jackson said.

Year after year, missed birthdays and holidays with his four children. In fact, he missed the birth of his own daughter. 

“So, if you don’t have your parents, then who’s going to love you like your mom and your dad?” Jackson said.

Loved ones passed away. He’s haunted by the precious time he missed with them. 

“I lost a brother, and shortly after that, my mom passed away. Then it just seemed like just family members just started dying left and right,” Jackson said. “When my mom passed away, I felt so hopeless and I cried out to God. Like, ‘God, what I’m going to do,’ you know what I’m saying? ‘Who gonna be here for me?'” Jackson said.

Knowing his situation wasn’t going to change, he put his anger aside and did his best to keep moving.

“I’m a funny dude and, and I think my humor (is) what got me through a lot of it. I just wanted to live,” Jackson said. “And it doesn’t matter where I am. I’m gonna try to live the best life I can live, you know?”

Life before prison was all about family. 

“Big family. Spent plenty of time with my family. Like Sundays, we was doing soul food dinners,” Jackson said. Read More >>