Darrell Hall is getting a second chance at life thanks to Tyler Perry. Hall was sentenced to life in prison back in the 1990s for possession of two grams of cocaine. After more than 20 years behind bars, he was released last month due to Fulton County’s brand new Conviction Integrity Unit. He served more than 13 years before the new program—a project that re-examines past convictions that are believed to be excessive based on the circumstances involved. Up until his release, Hall was the only person from Georgia’s most populous county serving a life sentence for a drug offense, according to the Fulton County district attorney.
During the inaugural reception at Tyler Perry Studios, Hall was introduced as the first defendant to be released from prison as a result of Fulton DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit. Hall was released from prison in December and hasn’t been able to find employment due to his record.
“In addition to his freedom, Tyler Perry Studios and Mr. Tyler Perry agreed to offer Hall a job so he can rebuild his life and move forward as a productive citizen of Fulton County,” reads a statement released by the office of District Attorney Paul Howard Jr., reports CNN.
According to a statement released by the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney, “The Conviction Integrity Unit endeavors to review past convictions for credible claims of actual innocence, wrongful conviction, and, where feasible, sentencing inequities. This process is afforded to applicants regardless of whether they are pro se or represented by an attorney. The CIU is committed to ensuring all submissions receive a thorough and equitable review. The FCDA CIU will review five types of cases which include claims of actual innocence, claims of constitutional violations, in the interest of justice, sentence modification, and cases of historical significance.”
In 1991, Hall was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Although he had a minimal amount of cocaine, which equaled the size of two sugar packets, it was Hall’s second felony offense, so he was given a life sentence due to a Georgia law requirement. In today’s climate, for the same conviction, Hall would have been given the opportunity to complete Fulton County’s Drug Court Program as an option.
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