Imprisoned

Imprisoned: The Man in a Tan Jacket. Otis Johnson, 40 years in prison for a charge he denies

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Otis Johnson is 73 and has spent most of his life in jail because he happened to wear a tan jacket on the day someone shot a police officer near a park where he was training. Otis fit the description of an alleged drug dealer who injured an arresting officer before fleeing the scene.

Otis Johnson spent 40 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit
Before going to jail Otis Johnson learned martial arts in Hong Kong. He says it helped him to “survive in the prison system.” Dressed like a Ninja, Otis still trains outside in his yard.

Otis was soon detained and accused of assaulting a police officer. He pleaded not guilty, insisting he had been misidentified but was given 25 years to life. That sentence meant he could not apply for parole until the minimum time had been served. It took him another 15 years of approaching a parole board before finally being granted freedom while continually protesting his innocence.

Otis Johnson wrongly convicted
“When I came out of prison, I really didn't know that much about society, so I was dropped off at 42nd Street Times Square with a little package, two bus tickets, 40 dollars.”

After 40 years in prison, Otis is adjusting to a free life. Amazed at how much the world has changed since his incarceration in the 70s, Otis is now trying to tap into the zeitgeist and reunite with his family.

Otis Johnson spent 40 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit
For Otis, a guilty plea would have meant release 15 years earlier.

The first episode follows Otis as he shares his take on the world he has discovered since his release. iPhones, premixed peanut butter & jelly and the 'Me-Too' movement are all new to him; he talks of old prison habits that have stayed with him and laments the growing divide between him and his family.

What do you think?

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