A man exonerated while on death row for triple murder and the father of a murder victim who displayed extraordinary forgiveness for his son’s killer will speak Monday, March 24 at Widener Law in Harrisburg.
The program sponsored by the student ACLU chapter begins at 4 p.m. in room A180 of the school administration building. It is free and open to the public.
The speakers include Harold Wilson, who spent roughly 17 years on Pennsylvania’s death row before DNA evidence helped lead to his exoneration, and the Rev. Walter Everett, a Pennsylvania preacher whose 24-year-old son Scott was murdered during a Connecticut shooting in 1987.
The talk is part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voices of Hope, Agents of Change Tour, in which death row exonerees and murder victims’ family members are touring Pennsylvania, making a call for change in the Keystone State’s public policy.
Wilson was convicted of triple murder and sentenced to death but won a new trial in 1999 after an appeals court determined he had been served by ineffective counsel. A second jury also convicted him, but he again won a new trial in 2003 when an appeals court found a prosecutor had used racially discriminatory practices during the second jury selection. A third jury acquitted Wilson after newly introduced DNA evidence revealed there was blood at the crime scene that did not come from Wilson or any of the victims. In November 2005 he became the nation’s 122nd person freed from death row.
Everett began corresponding with his son’s incarcerated killer, Mike Carlucci, around the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting. Their relationship grew with visits between the two and Everett eventually testified on Carlucci’s behalf, helping him win an early release from prison. Everett later presided over Carlucci’s wedding. The two remain friends and Everett frequently speaks about the power of forgiveness.