Fred Clay spent 38 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. After being released, he is looking to educate others.
Clay was wrongfully convicted in the 1979 murder of a cab driver in Boston's Roslindale neighborhood.
Wednesday, the AMC Boston Common showcased much more than a film. Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins joined Clay for a public discussion on criminal justice after the screening of "Just Mercy," which depicts the story of a public interest attorney working to free wrongfully convicted prisoners on death row.
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"It felt unreal," Clay said of his release. "I was very happy."
Clay said he wasn't even in the neighborhood where the crime occurred.
"I wasn't in Roslindale. I wasn't involved in no parts of the case at all," he said.
Students from Boston schools attended the event and were stunned to learn Clay received a $1 million settlement from the state after the life-altering mistake it made. But Clay said no amount of money was worth spending nearly four decades in prison.
"That statement, 'The truth will set you free,' I had to rethink that," Clay said. "So what I did was I thought about it as far as consciously. It would set me free consciously. They had my body locked up, but my mind was free."