DETROIT – A recently exonerated Detroit man says he is extra thankful this holiday season, as he’s finally home after wrongfully serving more than 25 years behind bars.
For Larry Darnell Smith Jr., being released from prison is a victory that was a long-time coming -- and for that, he’s thankful. The man served exactly 26 years, 10 months and seven days in prison, he says.
Smith, who is originally from Southwest Detroit, was convicted of murder in 1994. But, after a review of his case, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy determined that there was no conclusive evidence linking Smith to the murder scene. His charges were dismissed.
Now, Smith is spending his first Thanksgiving holiday at home and with family in a quarter of a century. This year, he’s visiting family in Boston -- including his mother, who says she is thrilled to have her son with her and free.
Smith says he feels his blessings to his core.
“It’s real,” he said. “We prayed and dreamed and hoped and asked for this.”
Now Smith and other men are part of the National Organization of Exonerees, and are working to help other men spending time in prison for crimes they say they did not commit.