life sentence • served 25 years in federal prison • Pres. Obama commuted on Jan. 17, 2017 • skilled welder


In the late 1980’s, Eric Wilson survived a night of brutal torture at the hands of Chicago Police. But Eric couldn’t escape America’s harsh drug laws. Ten years after he survived police torture, Eric was handed a mandatory federal life sentence for selling drugs. Eric served nearly 25 years of his federal life sentence, much of those years were spent in maximum security prisons. Eric didn’t waste his time in prison. He earned a 4.0 GPA in his prison college classes and became a skilled welder in the UNICOR prison factory program. As a prison welder, Eric earned just $1 per hour. He worked hundreds of hours to save enough money for one important item:  his young daughter’s peach-colored prom dress.

President Obama commuted Eric’s life sentence on January 17, 2017.  Today, Eric Wilson is training to join a welder’s union and continue his craft.  In this video, Eric sees his Decarceration Collective lawyers for the first time as a free man.  Eric says: “I am rebuilding my life and proving there are others I left in prison who deserve their freedom too.”