Steve Mills expertly tells the story of Daniel Taylor’s first steps as a free man in the Chicago Tribune.
The prison moments never seem far away. When his brother calls from another room, he hesitates before stepping out of his bedroom, as if he needs permission to leave. In a crowd, his eyes dart back and forth as he scans his surroundings in case somebody sneaks up on him. After all, he learned to never let down his guard in prison. When asked for his signature, he has to remind himself to write his name, not his inmate number.
For Daniel Taylor, life back in the outside world after two decades shows the fierce hold prison has on a person, even one who has been exonerated and set free. Since his release from a state prison in southern Illinois in late June, Taylor has tried mightily to shake off the effects of spending more than half of his 37 years locked up, his life almost frozen as the teen he was before his arrest. Still, he has embraced each day with a certain measure of gusto. While every morning brings a bewildering array of choices, Taylor seems to be adjusting to making decisions. When he walks the streets to practice being in crowds, he takes in what he sees with a tourist’s delight because it is all new, snapping photos on his new cellphone. The lake. The downtown skyscrapers. All are reminders of what he missed for so long.
Read the rest of story on the Chicago Tribune website.