Liberty and Justice For All: Cornealious “Mike” Anderson Freed After Clerical Error Led To His Imprisonment 13 Years Late
With so much anger and injustice that seems to plague the black community, it’s important to highlight when the law rules in favor of what’s only fair and just.
Last week, a piece titled Borrowed Time: “Do You Know About Cornealious “Mike” Anderson? discussed the case of Cornealious “Mike” Anderson, a Missouri man convicted of armed robbery in 2002 but due to a clerical error, went free for 13 years until on his scheduled released date law enforcement discovered he was not actually incarcerated. In that time, Anderson started a business and a family and became a responsible, law-abiding citizen. Many argued he had rehabilitated himself and it was no longer necessary for him to serve time.
Anderson’s lawyer, Patrick Megaro filed a petition for Anderson to be credited with the 13 years citing the heavily delayed sentence as “cruel and unusual punishment”. He filed a separate position requesting Anderson’s release and asking for clemency from Missouri governor Jay Nixon.
The Huffington Post reports on Monday, a Missouri judge ordered the state to set Anderson free. Judge Terry Lynn Brown noted Anderson’s “exemplary” behavior over the past decade:
“You’ve been a good father. You’ve been a good husband. You’ve been a good taxpaying citizen of the state of Missouri.
“That leads me to believe that you are a good man and a changed man.”
Anderson left the courtroom with his mother on one arm and his three-year old daughter on the other. He told reporters:
“My faith has always been in God. I’m just so thankful. Thank God for everything.”
Missouri assistant Attorney General Michael Spillane told Brown that in addition to the seriousness of Brown’s crime the court should consider how imprisonment would affect his progress and family.
The judge ruled that rather than Anderson being granted parole, he would get credit for the 4,794 days between when he was convicted and when he was arrested last year. Anderson was arrested last July and has been serving time at Missouri Department of Corrections ever since.
We’re happy to see one less African-American male in prison and pray that Anderson continues to build a positive life with his family and within his community.