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‘Renewed Hope’ For Exoneree Tarnished By Plea Deal

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Christopher Scott has been out of jail since October of 2009.

He’s working hard to be a good parent to his two boys.

Scott is now a business owner, and has started his own non-profit after serving time for something he didn’t commit.  “I served 12 years and 8 months for capital murder that I didn’t commit,” says Scott, who is from Dallas.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s office re-examined his case.  “Being released it was like you was reborn again,” says Scott smiling.

Last week, one of the men convicted for the crime was Don Anderson.  Scott was in the courtroom during his trial, but asked to leave.  “I went to the court thinking I was going to see justice, but what I seen is injustice for the second time in my life,” says Scott.

Anderson was offered a plea deal.  He got five years for Aggravated Robbery.

Cory Session is the Policy Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, and he’s already started talking to lawmakers about changes to protect exonerees.

He’s pushing for those exonerated to be in the courtroom to watch the defendants in trail.  He also wants exonerees to be able to make a victim impact statement during sentencing.  “At the minimum sentencing guidelines I hope to get passed through the legislature that this actual person spent a minimum amount of time equal to the time that they spent in prison wrongfully convicted,” says Session.

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins’ office released a statement on Scott’s case saying that key witnesses couldn’t testify because of medical conditions before trail, so a plea deal was reached.

Anderson’s attorney says he never admitted guilt and actually plead no contest and got the minimum five years.

Scott is now working on his non-profit called ‘House of Renewed Hope.’   He’s even investigating his own cases and hoping to finally find closure.

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