Wrongly Convicted Man Meets Firm That Helped Set Him Free
Carlsbad-Based Life Technologies' DNA Testing Helped Exonerate Herman Atkins
7:50 AM, Aug 25, 2011
A man who spent 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit finally met the people behind the technology that helped set him free.Herman Atkins has been out of prison for 10 years, and he is now dedicating his life to helping others who have been wrongly convicted.Atkins was invited to speak at Life Technologies, a bio-tech firm in Carlsbad, whose DNA testing kit played a part in Atkins being set free."I went in, in 1988, and it wasn't until August 1999 that a DNA test was conducted," Atkins said.In a speech before Life Technologies employees, Atkins said, "I want you to know the impact of the work you are doing."Atkins was finally released from prison in 2000. He was convicted in 1988 for the rape and robbery of a store clerk in Lake Elsinore.Atkins also received help from the Innocence Project, a group dedicated to exonerate prisoners who have been wrongly convicted."Herman is working as a volunteer for us while he is a student at Cal Western School of Law, and we hope one day he'll be a lawyer on our team," said Shannon Sebeckis of the California Innocence Project.Since his release, Atkins has been a motivational speaker and has earned degrees in psychology.His speech clearly resonated with employees at Life technologies."It renews our spirit to do what we do every day knowing that someone like Herman is on the other side," said Lisa Schade, director of marketing for the company.