Darryl Burton’s mom reflects on his lost 24 years

Pearline Burton received a standing ovation in St. Louis during the August 29 celebration of her son’s one-year anniversary of freedom. She was praised for her strength and her faith during the years that Burton spent locked up in the Jefferson City Correctional Center, convicted of a murder he didn’t commit.

I visited with Pearline a few hours before the celebration to talk about the 24 years Darryl was away.

“He missed a lot,” she says. He couldn’t attend one of his brothers’ weddings, and he missed the funerals of both of Pearline’s parents. Pearline thinks that the stress of being without Darryl hastened his grandmother’s passing after a gradual decline in her health.

Did she lose any friends over Darryl’s incarceration, who perhaps doubted his innocence?

“No, I didn’t, honestly I didn’t,” Pearline says, “because I didn’t do a lot of discussing it. (People) never brought up their opinions on whether he was guilty or not.”

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