Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Unjustly Imprisoned Man Credits Mom, God for Sustenance During Ordeal

A recently exonerated man credited his faith in God and the support of his mother for his ability to endure 24 years of wrongful incarceration. Dontae Sharp always maintained his innocence in the 1994 murder of George Radcliff. A judge vacated his sentence after the state’s only eyewitness recanted her testimony and the former state medical examiner disproved the prosecution’s theory of the victim’s ballistic wounding; Sharp was released for time already served.

All along the way; Sharp had numerous opportunities to reduce his sentence with a guilty plea; but he’d steadfastly refused; citing faith and family. “My faith; knowing I was innocent; and the way I was raised. My momma always told me if you didn’t do something; don’t own up to it. Don’t say you did it.” Sharp claimed his faith gave him “positivity to help me when I was around all that negativity.”

Sharpe plans to spend time with his daughter; grandchildren and other extended family. “I’m going to take a breath right now and gather myself;” he said. “I’m feeling shocked a little bit.”

His attorney Theresa Newman said; “It was a too-long journey for Dontae Sharpe. We can lament that at some point; but right now; it’s a time of great joy to restore him to his family and his community.”

Potential Preaching Angles: God is honored when we visit those in prison and advocate for those who have suffered injustice. A mother's enduring love for her son is a picture of God's faithful love for us; even when we get into troubling circumstances.

Source: “Freed man says he relied on mother; God while in prison for crime he didn’t commit” Associated Press (8-23-19)

Related Sermon Illustrations

Former Inmate Gets Job Back After DNA Exoneration

Nevest Coleman resumed his job as a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox after an unexpected hiatus left him unavailable to work-for 23 years. In 1994, Coleman was charged and convicted ...

[Read More]

WNBA Superstar Put Career on Hold to Help Free a Man from Prison

Perennial WNBA All-Star and Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore has been a winner throughout her career, but she recently experienced a different kind of triumph. She helped free an ...

[Read More]