When Jarrett Adams was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault, he was sentenced to 28 years in a maximum security prison.
The 17-year-old still had ten long years ahead of him before his conviction would be overturned.
While others might have buckled under the circumstances, Adams won his fight for justice thanks to studying law in the prison library.
He had done his homework.
He knew the case, factually, better than anybody, and he knew the law, so that he was engaging with us, discussing legal issues, strategy.
While Adams explained:
What I wanted more than anything was this:
I wanted my mother, when she went to church and people asked about her son, for her not to duck her head in her Bible and cry.
And I wanted her to be proud.
He is now the first Innocence Project exoneree to be hired as an attorney by the organisation.
It took almost eight years from his release in 2007 to graduate from law school in 2015.
Recently, Adams helped overturn another man's conviction - in the same state that sentenced him for a crime he didn't commit all those years ago.
Richard Beranek was convicted of rape in 1990, although he reportedly had alibi that put him in another state at the time of the crime.
Adams explained to NBC:
Nothing pays me back more, or my family, than me walking in the same court, in the same state, where they didn't even look at me when they gave me 28 years.
But now they have to acknowledge me as 'Attorney Adams'.
HT NBC News