Davontae Sanford was 14 when he was sent to prison for murders he did not commit. When he was 23, another man confessed to those murders and his nine-year nightmare appeared to be finally ending.
Then, he got a bill from the court.
When it came time for his release, Sanford’s wrongful imprisonment resulted in just over $2,000 in court costs and fines that had yet to be paid. These fines and costs included fees for a public defender who represented him when he was charged with another crime while in prison. Word reached the corrections officers that Sanford had hinted he would hang himself. When those officers stormed his cell to prevent his suicide, he kicked one of the officers and spat on another, resulting in two years being added to his sentence. The court ruled that if he were to pay the fines, those years would be wiped from his sentence.