He comes out of prison after 68 years and declares: "I have grown and changed, I am no longer a threat". Joe Ligon is 82 today, but when he was 15 he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to robbing and stabbing some people. The events took place in Philadelphia in February 1953. Ligon carried out the robbery together with four other teenage boys and six people were injured and two dead on the pavement. The man was found guilty of first degree murder, although his attorney Bradley Bridge explained to CNN that his client has always claimed to have stabbed one of the injured, but that he never killed anyone.
“The child who committed those crimes in 1953 no longer exists. The person who got out of prison in 2021 is 83 years old, has grown, has changed and is no longer a threat, ”Ligon said a few days ago. "This man has amply repaid the company for the damage done. Now it is appropriate for him to spend the last years of his life in freedom. I am an adult now, indeed I am an old man and I get older every day ”. As US media outlets explain, the road to Ligon's release was long. In the 1970s, the man turned down the Pennsylvania governor's option of clemency which meant probation.
Also in 2017 the possibility of parole reappeared but Ligon refused the offer again, stating that parole would not grant him the freedom he desired after decades in prison, but control over his life for the rest of his days. . Attorney Bridge, who has represented Ligon for 15 years, ultimately argued that life imprisonment for a crime Ligon committed as a minor was unconstitutional. After a failed hearing in the Pennsylvania Intermediate Court of Appeals, Bridge was able to take the case to federal court and won in November 2020.