Ryan Matthews: The story of man who got a degree after he was sentenced to death

Ryan Matthews: The story of man who got a degree after he was sentenced to death

- When it seemed all hope was lost, Ryan Matthews got a reprieve from a murder charge he got in April 1997 when he was a teenager

- Matthews served a 5-year jail term for a crime someone else committed just because his vehicle looked like the criminal's car

- Despite the harsh reality he faced, he went ahead to get a degree and is presently studying for his doctorate degree

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Ryan Matthews beat the odds that were stacked against him in life and succeeded. He was 17 years old when he charged of a crime he did not commit. That made him spend five years in prison on a death row.

His trouble started in April 1997 when a masked thief shot a store owner who refused to give him money and fled, Face to Face Africa reports.

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Several hours after then, Matthews was stopped because the vehicle he was riding bore a striking resemblance with the getaway car of the criminal.

Though he was innocent and there was no evidence against him, the then-teenager was found guilty by a team of 11 white jurors and sentenced to death at the age of 19.

A collage of Matthews who beat his rough circumstances. Photo sources: CNN/The Advocate/Denton Record Chronicle

A collage of Matthews who beat his rough circumstances. Photo sources: CNN/The Advocate/Denton Record Chronicle
Source: UGC

His liberation came when an investigation by William Sothern and Clive Stafford Smith of the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Centre uncovered the whole truth. He was released in 2004.

“I just kept hope that eventually one day the truth might come out. I tried to keep my mind outside those walls.

“I read. I exercised. I wrote. I couldn’t let that place get me down. I couldn’t go crazy. I mean, they’d win. I’m already in for something I didn’t do, so if I lose my mind, I’m a lost cause and I’ll never get out,” he spoke about how he bore it all.

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It was seven years after that misfortune that Mathews faced life squarely. He would later graduate with a degree in applied arts and science from Texas Woman's University in Denton.

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He is presently studying for his PhD at the same institution. He believed that if he had experienced that injustice, he would have just been a college graduate.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that three men, Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins, and Andrew Stewart, who spent 36 years in prison for a crime they know nothing of were exonerated and released.

The trio were teenagers when they were wrongly accused of killing DeWitt Duckett in 1983 in a Baltimore school.

They were jailed on the sole basis that at the time of the murder, the three teens had also missed their own classes at a different school and were sighted at the crime scene.

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Source: Legit

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