Cornelius Dupree, imprisoned 30 years ago on aggravated robbery charges, had his conviction overturned this past week after DNA evidence exonerated him. He walked out of the courtroom a free and happy man.
Wow. I found myself exhilarated by the news and, at the same time, deeply saddened. How in the world could such a thing happen? Over half his life spent in the Texas penal system for no good reason.
“It’s a joy to be free,” Dupree, 51, said outside court that Tuesday. He told reporters after becoming a free man that he had “mixed emotions” about the hearing considering how long he had been incarcerated.
“I must admit there is a bit of anger, but there is also joy, and the joy overrides the anger. I’m just so overwhelmed with the joy of being free.” Wow. Don’t you know he is!
It comes as no surprise that the joy of freedom wins out over any other emotion. Angry, depressed, bitter—no doubt about it, every reason in the world for such, but they wouldn’t win out. Joy does.
Wow. This year, this day, this moment—let’s opt for joy. If you are free, you act free—period.