Eric Glisson wasn’t the only one freed when his murder conviction was overturned in New York, where Sister Joanna Chan was ministering to Glisson and other inmates at a prison overlooking the Hudson River, not far from her Maryknoll convent. In June 2014, Dateline NBC aired an interview of Sister Joanna for her role in Glisson’s eventual release. Now, in exclusive footage not aired in the original show, meet the other inmates, now released, who were also wrongly accused of the crime. Click here to watch the video.
“I am innocent.” What was it about Glisson’s words that struck Sister Joanna as he pleaded his innocence from behind bars at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility? View the Dateline episode, “A Bronx Tale,” in its entirety to find out.
Though Maryknoll Sisters are better known for their behind-the-scenes mission work that brings change to the world with a meekness that’s modeled after Jesus, Dateline NBC provided Sister Joanna with a national audience to describe how her mission work mentoring inmates inside Sing Sing prison put her into contact with Glisson, who had been serving 25 years to life for murder.
The case drew headlines that shined a spotlight on New York’s criminal justice system and the efforts of Sister Joanna and others to reverse a miscarriage of justice that took 17 years of Glisson’s life while behind bars. Watch “A Bronx Tale” for interviews with Sister Joanna, New York police department and federal investigators, and a look at new evidence that got the court to set free Glisson and five others who were charged with the murder of a livery cab driver in 1995.
Inmates at the prison affectionately addressed Sister Joanna as “Grandma” because she would listen to their struggles. “Nothing but the grace of God pulled me through,” Glisson said, looking back on the ordeal.
Just before Glisson won his freedom, Sister Joanna said to him: “Your family must love you very much, and he said, ‘Yes, because they know I am innocent.'”