DENVER – Happy is not a word you’d expect to hear from a man who spent 28 years in prison for the crime he said he didn’t commit.
Clarence Moses-EL is a free man now. He’s always said he was not guilty of raping and beating a woman in 1987. Last week, a jury in his second trial agreed with him.
He sat down to talk to 9Wants To Know a week after the verdict.
“It’s been a journey,” Moses-EL told 9Wants To Know reporter Anastasiya Bolton.
Seems like an understatement, after two trials for sex assault and spending more than 28 years in prison.
“Twenty eight years and five months,” said Moses-EL.
Moses-EL’s journey started in 1987, when he was charged with raping and beating a neighbor. She said he did it. He said he didn’t. A jury back then found him guilty and sent him to prison.
“If you go to prison for sex crimes, people in the prison population will respect a murderer before he respects a sex offender,” Moses-EL said. “It takes a whole lot to survive in there.”
The details of how he got to a second trial are long and complex. All were put to rest by a Denver jury this month. The new set of jurors said not guilty.
“I don’t have no ill feelings toward the District Attorney, the DA’s office,” Moses-EL said. “I’m not angry. Things happen. I’m not saying that it was done deliberately, things happened, people do things. I believe in the system. And I believe the system is fair all the way.”
On his journey Moses-EL met a lot of people. One of them, a newspaper reporter covering his story. They became friends.
“There were times I think, I carried anger,” said Susan Greene. “He’s not angry. It’s not like he’s faking it for your cameras. He’s just not. I am. I think everybody should be.”
Greene has been writing about Moses-EL for 10 years.
“This is a sick and sad story and it never should’ve happened,” she said. “Who is the victim here really? It’s him!”
Moses-EL credits Greene’s stories and support for helping him get out of prison.
Hey says the “Justice For All” mantra of our system doesn’t fit his journey.
“My story, my experience, I can say, ‘nah, that ain’t true,’ because of what I went through. I know I didn’t receive justice,” Moses-EL said.
Now that he’s out, Moses-EL new story is his to write and he’s already going about it his way.
“I’m happy,” he said. “A lot of people are intrigued about why I’m happy. I know why I’m happy. Because I invested in it.”