By Dee Armstrong (Columbus, GA)-State Representative Carolyn Hugley presented the Lathan Word Compensation Resolution to the House Appropriations Committee in Atlanta.
The resolution was proposed to compensate a man who spent more than a decade behind bars for something he did not do. WLTZ has been following his story closely and in part one of my special report , we go back to the Columbus neighborhood where it all started.
The cashier at the old neighborhood store lied. He said he's been robbed. He told police it was Lathan Word.
" I was actually sad for the people who did it. Sad for the people who owned the store. Not that they had anything to do with the lie. But, I'm not angry. I have forgiven him."
Six days before leaving for Paris Island to become a Marine, he was arrested ...and in prison there is not time to grow up.
What does that do to a 17 year old? " I had to become a man, fast. There was no choice. I was forced to grow up .There is nothing like being told what to do 24 hours a day 365 days a week." It's hard and lonely. "
He was convinced he was railroaded, in part because of poor legal representation, so he began working on his own case.
"There are more innocent guys in there than me now, but, they have become institutionalized and don't know what to do. I got every case I could. I studied them day and night and night and day and spent nights without any sleep. "
The hard work brought him to an amazing intersection in his life.
As for the compensation resolution for Word , it still has to be approved. Lathan Word continues his story of surviving and forgiveness in part two of my special series Wednesday.
WLTZ NBC 38
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