From Death Row To Rebirth

Singer Kylie Minogue arrives at the opening night of "Kylie - The Exhibition," a retrospective exhibition to celebrate her career, at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Feb. 6, 2007, in London. GETTY IMAGES/Dave Hogan

Sonia Jacobs felt like a middle-aged "alien" when she walked out of prison 16 years after her wrongful conviction.

"The world you leave when this happens isn't the world you come back to, and you're not the same," Jacobs says.

Jacobs spent five years in isolation, the only woman on Florida's death row. She lived in a 6-foot-by-9-foot cell and got her meals through a metal slot.

"At first I was very, very angry and disillusioned," she tells CBS Radio News.

She turned inward, to yoga, meditation and prayer.

Eventually her sentence would be reduced to life. But it would fall to filmmaker Micki Dickoff, a childhood friend, to uncover the suppressed evidence that pointed to the state's star witness as the real killer of the two policemen.

"My sense of justice was so outraged that I had to fight to make sure that the truth would win," Dickoff says.

When Jacobs left prison in 1992, her two children were grown and she was a grandmother. She teaches yoga now in California and belongs to an odd sort of alumni club: the falsely convicted.

"You have to be willing to accept your release as sort of a rebirth, a new incarnation, and go from there," Jacobs says.


By CBS Radio News' WENDY ZENTZ and CBSNews.com's CHRIS WEBER
©2000, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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