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๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ My Life After 44 Years In Prison | AJ Shorts



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Otis Johnson went to jail at the age of 25. When he got out at 69, he rejoined a world that was starkly different from the one he remembered. This is his story.
Last year, we met Otis Johnson at a New York City shelter for ex-convicts. Everyone there was trying to get their feet back on the ground. Otis had just got out of prison after serving a 44-year sentence. The last time he had seen his family was May 1975.

When we shared Otis’s first story of being reintroduced to the modern world, viewers were amazed by just how unfamiliar everything was to him. iPhones, Times Square, jars of pre-mixed peanut butter and jelly … everything was new or starkly different.

INTERACTIVE: My life after 44 years in prison. The story of Otis Johnson
His story clearly resonated with people. More than 12 million people watched Otis’ story on YouTube, and we wanted to show them what happened next.

We went to Asbury Park, in New Jersey, with Otis to try to find them. Reconnecting with family was something he had said he was always interested in doing, but hadn’t got round to yet. After all, he was still learning how to navigate the city. He had a small box where he kept old, tattered photos of family members, but that was basically all the information he had on them.

“The only address I really have is Asbury Park,” Otis told us. So we took the train to Asbury Park not knowing much.

But we did have Otis’ memory. Once we arrived at the train station and began roaming the streets, small things about his old home slowly came back to him: extended family members, friends, shops. He wanted to find his aunt, Dottie Moore, and some other family members. He said many would probably think he was dead.

When we talked to Otis about his relationship with his family, his answers were complicated. He was a member of the Fruit of Islam (the paramilitary wing of Nation of Islam, the Islamic religious movement once famously led by Malcom X) in his younger days. The Nation of Islam’s stated goals were to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans. Otis was a devout Muslim who said he helped “clean up the streets” of drug dealers.

“We wasn’t all bad,” he would say.

But Otis said some of his family members didn’t buy that. He didn’t know if they would be angry or happy to see him after all these years away. He had a nervous energy about him as we walked down Pine Street, knocking on doors and asking strangers about Dottie Moore.

This final story on Otis Johnson is one of reconnection and reconciliation. It is the story of a man on a quest to reunite with remnants of his past and one, we hope, many can relate to.
Find out more about Otis:
http://aje.io/LifeAfterPrison

More AJ Shorts:
http://aljazeera.com/shorts


Filmmakers:
Elena Boffetta – https://twitter.com/ElenaBoffetta
Jenna Belhumeur – https://twitter.com/jenna_bel

Executive Producer:
Yasir Khan – https://twitter.com/khanundrum

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35 comments

  1. He basically time traveled

  2. Well.. people who have lost time are mostly the ones who enjoy every bit of it when they have it. People who are free look at time differently since I mean.. they're free, they can do this or that now or later. Most people .. like me.. waste time on games which I regret so much. The world is so big yet I'm keeping myself in a literal prison with just my phone and gadgets.

  3. Yeah this man really reminds me of a real-life "Red" from the Shawshank Redemption.

  4. he seems a nice human being..

  5. I would like to know the update on this guy โ€™s story. Very inspirational and sad at the same time.

  6. REHABILITATION at it's best..!

  7. It's like he time travelled 44 years to the future.. I would be the same if I got transported to 2074

  8. He wasn't rich enough that's why he got a longer sentence.

  9. The most chillest nicest amazing man on earth he said he thinks society owes him nothing and i like how he thinks positive but society owes you something he is so polite and looks like he wouldnt hurt no fly wish you well!

  10. Rondonumbanine gonna come out the same way

  11. Attempted murder is bad, so you can't really argue about whether he deserved his sentence. But 44 years is straight overkill, and definitely had some other motivation to give him that many amount of years.

  12. Make a hollywood movie out of this starting Morgan Freeman. It'll also help him cause he will get paid for selling his story

  13. Thank You Al Jazeera & Otis Johnson !

  14. i hope Allah (God) give him a better life, may u got hidayah uncle. your sounds peacefully.

  15. the only one of to be able to make and the other side of the most popular in the first place to live in the most popular and of the most important for you can get a good idea of the other hand in a way of the first time I have been in the most of the other hand to make and the most of the other for44

  16. When after 44 years in jail and isolation, he sees people chained and tied up with wire with IPHONE like thing

  17. Ohh men I cry a lot for this dude๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ..feel like he was rejected by the society,he was left not only his family but the world that we are moving right now..He got sentence by color not what he did!!๐Ÿ˜ญfeel sorry..God is a perfect judge for us bro ,may God with you bro!

  18. I hope he ll find Andy and repair that boat

  19. We all love him. Heโ€™s a beautiful

  20. "Being in society is a good feeling"๐Ÿ’–
    Is that a thing…

  21. he looks like the dead guy in Dictator whose head was chopped off to get the beard ๐Ÿ˜•

  22. Driver Parallel Lines anyone?

  23. 44 years for attempted murder. US law very strict. He looks like very strong man. Only Godly man can stay that strong. God bless him in remaining life

  24. OMGosh! I like this man very much. He would meditate and I would pray. For both of us it brings peace. Peace to you my brother

  25. There is Same case where Dr. Aafia Saddiqui has been jailed for more than 83 years ….

  26. And what about a person who killed millions of people in Iraq …Then these Americans lectures other on Human rights… Ever looked into Gawantanamobay etc jails …. Double Standards….

  27. im 25 and i feel old/ he went to jail at 25 until 69999999999999999999999 my god this dude has been in jail for 44 years my god i cant imagine that

  28. His voice gives me intense asmr tingles.

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