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Philadelphia man fears possible return to prison as DA Larry Krasner appeals overturned conviction

Philadelphia man fears possible return to prison as DA appeals overturned conviction
Philadelphia man fears possible return to prison as DA appeals overturned conviction 02:48

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia man whose murder conviction was recently overturned is at risk of going back to prison.

Back in March, CBS Philadelphia was there for the emotional reunion when 77-year-old William Franklin was released from prison.

There were many hugs and tears as Franklin embraced his family after spending 44 years behind bars.


Three months have now gone by since a judge overturned his 1980 murder conviction based on new evidence that raised questions if Franklin was the suspect, but he still can't say he is 100% a free man even after his release.

That's because Philadelphia's District Attorney's Office is appealing the judge's ruling.

It's a possibility Franklin could go back to prison.

"Honestly, the fact that me going back to prison scares me. Most people I talk to nine out of ten tell you -- don't think like that. Yeah, easy for you to say, but I can't help thinking like that because they prove to me. That they can latch on to you and nothing you can do about it," Franklin said.

Now, Franklin is on house arrest until a decision is made on his appeal.

"He's still losing time, even after [his release]. He's still suffering for a crime he didn't commit," Franklin's attorney, Joseph Marrone, said.

While on house arrest, Franklin is allowed to go to one place -- a job at the anti-gun violence nonprofit Mothers in Charge.

Franklin is an intake officer and helps assist men and women adjust to life after prison through their reentry program.


The nonprofit is giving him more reasons to continue to fight.

"I'm coming here every day. You know that gives me a sense of purpose. Every day I come in, I don't miss a day," Franklin said. "I feel somewhat important, you know, so I'm worthy of it."

Reginald Haines, who is the director of the program at Mothers in Charge, said Franklin has been a valuable addition.

"He knows how to relate to those folks. He is very communicative with them, and he inspires them," Haines said.

By sharing his story of perseverance, Franklin inspires hope in others. And while he waits to learn about his future, he isn't taking any moment for granted.

"I think about it every day that they're going to snatch this away, that they're going to snatch it away. It may not happen, but I think about it every day," Franklin said.

Krasner's appeal could take up to a year before a decision is made.

CBS Philadelphia reached out to the DA's office for answers and said they couldn't comment on an ongoing case.

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