How We Present
Starting over, 24 Years after a wrongful conviction
by John M Broder
The New York Times Translate This Article
21 June 2004
On 21 June 2004 The New York Times reported:
Thomas Goldstein said that he survived 24 years in prison, for a crime he never committed, with Transcendental Meditation and a return to his Jewish roots.
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Thomas Lee Goldstein was sentenced in 1980 to a murder he did not commit. Over the many long years in prison, Thomas Lee Goldstein's sense of disbelief, his bitterness at the judicial system, even his revenge fantasies slowly faded into grim patience.
He expressed that he survived his years in a succession of California prisons, from San Quentin to Folsom to the maximum-security lockup at Tehachapi, with a combination of Transcendental Meditation and a return to his Jewish roots, observing religious holidays.
Mr. Goldstein spent countless hours in prison law libraries, eventually earning a paralegal certificate. He filed repeated habeas corpus petitions until in 1996 a federal judge agreed to hold a hearing on his case.
In 2002, Magistrate Judge Robert N. Block delivered a lengthy opinion stating that Mr. Goldstein had been wrongly convicted and ordered him released. Judge Dickran Tevrizian of Federal District Court in Los Angeles and a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after revviewing the evidence later affirmed his opinion.
Goldstein says he does not harbor revenge, but rather he holds the system that so betrayed him accountable. He now works as a paralegal at the small Pasadena law firm. He is working on a damage claim against the authorities who wrongly took his freedom.
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