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“Innocent and Convicted” Comes to MT

April 9, 2007


A man who was wrongly convicted of killing his wife is sharing his story in Montana this week. Prosecutors in Alabama wanted the death penalty for George White, and he spent four years in prison before being exonerated. Now, he’s traveling the country to talk about how the death penalty, which he used to support. He says he changed his mind when he wrongly came so close to death row himself.

"I do know absolutely that an innocent man or woman can be convicted of something they didn’t do. Had the jury not gone for a life sentence instead of a death sentence, I could be a dead man today."
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White and his wife were shot as his place of business. He served four years in prison before being exonerated. Montana’s Senate approved abolishing the death penalty this year.

For a long time, White carried around feelings of revenge for the man who killed his wife, until he realized his own health was failing because of it…

"I came to the conclusion that those feelings were not affecting the man who murdered my wife. They were killing me."

White believes the death penalty carries a false promise of “closure” for victim families…

"Invariably, what we’ve done is hold on to that anger, and we wake up the next morning and our loved one’s not back. It's just that some pathetic son-of-a-bitch died."

George White speaks at 7:00 p.m., tonight, Losekamp Hall at Rocky Mountain College; Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., MSU Strand Union Building in Room 106E; Wednesday, 7:00 pm, Lewis & Clark Library’s Small Meeting Room.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MT