From the Boxing Ring to a Prison Cell: Dewey Bozella’s Fight for Freedom


For 26 years, Dewey Bozella sat in prison, wondering what might have been. If he hadn’t been convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, he could have been a professional boxer. He could have been a champion. At the very least, he would have lived his 20s, 30s and 40s in the free world e instead of sitting in a tiny cell day after day.

He can’t get the years back, but on Saturday night Bozella was enjoying his newfound freedom  — from a ringside seat in Chicago.

Bozella was freed in October after pro bono lawyers at the law firm WilmerHale turned up convincing evidence of his innocence. The Innocence Project worked on Bozella’s case until it became clear that DNA evidence had been destroyed, at which point we transferred the case to WilmerHale.

A feature story in the New York Daily News this weekend digs into Bozella’s case — and his promising boxing career stopped short by a wrongful conviction. Bozella was invited to Saturday’s fight by boxer Paulie Malignaggi, who told the Daily News he was moved by Bozella’s story.


“When you’re innocent, you shouldn’t even spend a minute in jail, let alone 26 years,” Malignaggi told the Daily News.

Read the full story here

. (New York Daily News, 12/13/09)

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