Exonerated through DNA Testing, Two New Dads Celebrate Father's Day in the Free World
Posted: June 18, 2012 4:50 pm
Pictured: Innocence Project staffers with Alan Newton’s son Eli.
Alan Newton used to wake up in a prison cell, now he wakes up to his baby boy’s smile. Newton spent his first Fathers’ Day on Sunday at home. “I was just content to stay in,” he laughs. Talking about his seventh-month-old son, Eli, always makes Newton laugh, but when it comes to his responsibility as a father, he’s serious. “We want to educate him and teach him to be fair and have respect,” Newton says.
Newton spent 21 years in New York State prisons for a rape he didn’t commit. The Innocence Project was able to prove Newton’s innocence using DNA testing, and he was exonerated in 2006. He had been denied parole because he refused to enroll in sex offender classes. How does he plan to talk to Eli about his wrongful imprisonment? Newton answers, “Once I start taking him out of the house and explaining what a bus driver is, and what a cop is, there will be a process to teach him about my case. I would want him to be informed so that he can be a lot more conscious of his surroundings.” James Bain, exonerated by the state of Florida in 2009, celebrated Father’s Day this year with his baby son, James Junior. Without hesitation when asked what he liked most about being a father, Bain said, “Being able to take charge of new life… …watching them grow…I enjoy that job very much.” James proudly added, “My [step] daughter is 5 years old, and my son is 2 months and 18 days old, as of today.” Bain spent 35 years in prison until he was exonerated with the assistance of the Innocence Project of Florida. He became a father at the age of 57.