Jailed Man Acts As His Own Lawyer & Frees Himself After 13 Years Behind Bars
Recent reports by Philly.com reveal an inspiring story of perseverance. Philadephia man, Hassan Bennett, was previously incarcerated for 13 years, after being accused of shooting a friend over a dice game back in 2006. Witnesses who had given their statements to the police later recanted, alleging that the detectives’ underling the case convinced them to make up lies. Through the entirety of his time away, Bennett fought for his freedom four trials over a dozen years.
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As he remained focused on the task, the 36-year-old spent all his allocated time reading up on the law. Bennett shared with Philly: “I stayed in the [prison] law library. I read every book I got my hands on, whether it was law work or history,” he said. “And I would practice and review other lawyers’ writings, then I would write. My biggest hurdle was overcoming the naysayers and the myths.”
Finally, the jailed man chose to represent himself and did so in his prison uniform. With a mandatory life sentence hanging in the balance, the jury tied to the case found Bennett’s points strong enough to grant his acquittal after an 81-minute deliberation. The now freedman hopes to continue within the field of law and dedicate his life to helping “other people that are innocent and help other people understand their rights, especially people from my neighborhood. So, I have a lot of work to do.”
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