KANSAS CITY, Mo. - You can usually find Darryl Burton in one of his favorite quiet spots at the Saint Paul School of Theology.
He'll have to do a lot of reading to complete his Master of Divinity degree. It will take three years. But he's patient. After all, he spent 24 years in prison for murder.
In 2008, after years of efforts by ministries and attorneys, he was exonerated for that murder in Saint Louis and released from prison.
"They got programs in place for people who've been convicted - they don't have that for an exonoree," Burton said.
He had to adjust to a world far different than the one he left 24 years before.
"I didn't know how to use a cell phone, I didn't know how to use a debit card, somebody asked me for my pin number - I gave it to 'em! I didn't have a clue," he remembered.
Then there was a reunion with the daughter who was 7-months-old when he last saw her.
"Then when I come home she was turning 26 and her life and her journey has been difficult, I was in prison, she ended up in foster care in another state, so she was going through hell as well," Burton said.
He found he spent a lot of time telling his story. People were most impressed by his perseverance and his ability to forgive.
"Man it wasn't easy. It took me 15,16 years and I prayed for those people through clenched teeth," he said.
Eventually he knew he had to keep a promise he'd made behind bars.
"I just said if you're real, Jesus, you know all things," he explained. "You and I know I'm innocent; if you help me get out of this place, not only will I serve you but I'll tell the world about you."
So he studies to become a minister to prisoners and youth, never forgetting those like him, who have yet to be released.
"There are other people in prison who are innocent," he said.
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