September 10, 2018, Terrell Thomas - Philadelphia Inquirer
I was a 24-year-old grad student at a private university when my friend and my relative got arrested on what I maintain was a bogus charge. The police had used an informant and insisted that I corroborate his lie about my friends. When I refused, they said I was part of the conspiracy. I was convicted of conspiracy to distribute drugs and sentenced to five years in prison under a mandatory minimum sentence rule.
My experience with the police and the courts gave me new insight into how our criminal justice system works — and fails to. The stories I heard from fellow inmates I met in prison challenged many assumptions I'd held about the fairness and effectiveness of our system.