Wrongfully imprisoned dad released in time to see his son graduate

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Bolden was exonerated after 22 years in prison. He told his sons, "You all are the reason I didn't give up"

22 years ago, Eddie Bolden was incarcerated for a crime involving the murder of 2 men. In a shocking twist of fate, Bolden was innocent and was wrongfully accused and imprisoned for the crime.

It may seem cliche to hear that a convicted man was falsely accused, but Bolden was given a second hearing in 2013 and was able to prove his innocence. A private investigator, Susan Carlson, uncovered three witnesses previously unmentioned during Bolden’s original hearing. The three witnesses were able to provide a proper alibi that proved Eddie’s innocence.

The presiding judge even went as far as to say that the witnesses’ testimonies were so credible and resourceful, that if their evidence had been introduced 22 years ago, then Bolden would have been acquitted.

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Source: Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune

Though there’s nothing he can do about the time he spent in prison, Bolden is working hard to ensure that he makes the most of the lost time. His first priority as a free man: attending his son’s graduation.

Dom, and his brother Antonio, spent as much time as they could with their father while he was imprisoned. They would frequently converse over the phone, and visit him thanks to the efforts of their mother, grandmother, and aunt. Dom worked diligently while his father was gone. He dedicated himself to his education and has earned the right to walk at his graduation and make his whole family proud—especially his father.

I was anxious to see him walk across the stage. I can’t stop crying,” Eddie told the South Bend Tribune.

It’s difficult to raise kids, and be a part of their lives through bars, Eddie tried his hardest to make an impact on their lives. Now he has the honor of being part of the culmination of his son’s hard work and effort.

Dom was equally excited about his big day: “This is a very important day,” Dom said in his interview. “I can’t put it in words. It’s a great feeling.” 

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Source: Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune

It’s easy to see that Dom put in a lot of hard work to earn his degree. His father Eddie isn’t afraid to say that the dedication his sons have put toward their education motivated him. Not to mention the yearning he felt to reunite with his sons after over 20 years of imprisonment for he a crime he didn’t even commit.

“You all are the reason I didn’t give up,” Eddie told Antonio and Dom during the ceremony. “There were days that I didn’t want to live. The only thing that stopped me from giving up is that I knew it would hurt you all. I thank you for being my reason to live.”

It’s amazing to see that the love a father has for his children, and the virtue of patience can work together to create a beautiful and inspiring story.

READ: Dad writes moving letter to daughter about growing up too fast

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