After 2 decades, man convicted murder released from jail

Edward Francis is finally free after twenty years in prison.  The Orlando man smiling as he walked out of jail Friday night. He told FOX 35 News the first things he will do is to pray and to spend time with his family.  Francis says he deserved his prison time. “If you do a crime you will be punished for it, and I do believe in doing my time for it.”

A judge released Francis from prison Friday.  He was sentenced to life in prison when he was seventeen after a murder conviction.  Francis did not actually shoot Kenneth Lewis, but he was held responsible for his involvement. But a Florida Supreme Court ruling this year cleared the way for Francis’ release, and State Attorney Jeff Ashton pushed for it. 

Now Francis wants more young people to have a chance to win early release from behind bars. He says, “The parole system does not allow them to get out. It always tells them we are gonna let you out, but they never let them out. They always push it out five, twenty, fifteen years later.”

Friday night, Francis enjoyed a family reunion twenty years in the making in Orlando.  Francis met nieces and nephews for the first time, and he started this weekend making a new life for himself.