A look at life after exoneration

Jun 6, 2012, 5:24 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2012, 5:54 am

A California man who went to prison for crimes he didn’t commit gets a tryout with the Seahawks Thursday. It’s been ten years since Brian Banks was wrongly accused of rape. Now, it’s his second chance at a professional football career.

It is the type of do-over most people exonerated of serious crimes won’t ever get.

“It was very awesomely overwhelming, let’s put it that way,” says Allen Northrup.

Northrup was 28-years-old when he was accused and convicted of raping a girl near his hometown of Woodland, Washington. He spent 17 years behind bars before he was finally exonerated through DNA.

During that time he developed a hardened personality that served him well. But outside of prison, his inability to keep his cool has made it tough for him to maintain a relationship.

Northrup says he also finds a lot of everyday conversations hard to take.

“Especially when they talk about kid things. […] There’s been times when they ask, what about your kids? I don’t know. I didn’t get to watch them grow up,” says Northrup.

His three children were toddlers when he was incarcerated. They were all in their 20’s when he was released two years ago.

Luckily, Northrup had no trouble finding work with an old friend in his hometown, but there are some opportunities he says he will never get back. He had been working in the logging industry with hopes of making more money as a heavy equipment operator.

“I was blessed with going to prison instead,” Northrup says.

He is now renting a room and living paycheck to paycheck. While Brian Banks is hoping to get some compensation from the state of California for his wrongful imprisonment, Northrup has never received a penny.

Jackie McMurtrie, the founder of the Innocence Project Northwest at the University of Washington, says while people who are on probation receive some minimal services, people who are exonerated get nothing.

The Innocence Project was instrumental in getting Northrup the DNA test that proved his innocence.

The University of Washington Law School has now started a policy program through the Innocence Project. They are hoping to pass a law similar to those in California and 26 other states where people are repaid for the time they lost due to a wrongful conviction.

In the meantime, Northrup is getting a second chance in one way – with his 3-year-old granddaughter.

“She’s like a spitting image of my daughter, back when my daughter was that age. It’s kind of a do over,” Northrup says.

Local News

Ted Buehner

Dry summers delay changes in leaves, but brilliant autumn colors around the corner

This sunny dry weather is expected to continue through Columbus Day Weekend, providing more unseasonably warm weather for enjoying fall hues.
21 hours ago
Hanna Scott

No timeline for Office of Independent Investigations use of force cases to begin

“The new Office of Independent Investigation will increase transparency and trust in investigations of deadly uses of force by law enforcement."
21 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

Postseason baseball within reach for Mariners, starved fans

With playoffs closer than ever, Mariners fans await tonight's results with baited breath
21 hours ago
Hanna Scott

Report discovers troubling gap between BIPOC, white homeowners in Washington state

More than 143,000 BIPOC households would need to become homeowners to close the gap between white and BIPOC households in Washington.
21 hours ago
Sam Campbell

Edmonds high school student arrested for bringing ‘ghost gun’ to school

Edmonds Police Department (EDP) thanking the vigilance of one student who they say spoke up when they knew a fellow 15-year-old student brought a loaded gun to class at Edmonds-Woodway High School Thursday.
21 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Olympia woman facing fines over ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign inside her home

An Olympia woman is being threatened with fines over a sign hanging inside her home.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
A look at life after exoneration