Eric Glisson exonerated: 'I spent 18 years in prison for a crime I didn't commit'

Wrongly convicted Eric Glisson shared his incredible journey in a candid Q&A ahead of a US television special airing tonight

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The Independent US

He's been compared to Andy Dufresne, the unlikely hero from the film The Shawshank Redemption, sentenced for a crime he didn't commit and sent to prison after an unfair trial.

Eric Glisson was a young man when he was convicted of killing a taxi driver in New York, along with five other men, in 1995 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He spent the next 18 years behind bars trying to prove his innocence helped by a nun and a lawyer.

Last night, he shared his incredible story in a candid ask-me anything Q&A session on Reddit, where he discussed details of the case ahead of a US television special on NBC.

Asked about his experiences as an inmate, Mr Glisson said life in prison is not "what you see on TV, there is less violence and the food is not that bad", but "your life is dictated by correctional officers" and inmates are treated "like cattle".

Mr Glisson, who recently opened his own business in The Bronx, NY, gathered evidence against the testimony of a key witnesses and found out who the real killers were from behind bars.

"When you lose all of your appeals, and you have to consider that you'll be in there the rest of your life because parole is almost never given to convicted murderers, you think the only relief is to end it. But something inside you keeps telling you to fight," he wrote.

So how did he cope? He kept a "wall of hope" in his prison cell, putting together newspaper clippings about other inmates, and spent most of the day in the library, teaching others how to read and write.

Readjusting to life after prison hasn't been easy. His relationship with his daughter, who was a baby at the time and recently turned 19, was strained.

Asked about his biggest shock after being in prison for so long, the 38-year old said: "Seeing all of these young kids, how the subculture has changed. With all the piercings, and body tattoos, the way they dress with their pants hanging."

And, in case you were wondering, his first meal as a free man consisted of lamb chops and cheesecake.

Eric Glisson's A Bronx Story airs tonight on NBC's Dateline