Two friends finally meet after one is exonerated from wrongful conviction

A heartwarming story about the power of pen pals has recently come to light. Lamar Johnson, a man wrongfully convicted of murder and incarcerated for 28 years, had been writing letters to Ginny Schrappen, his pen pal of over two decades.

Schrappen had volunteered to write to Johnson when her church’s deacon informed her of his desire for a pen pal. Despite the crime for which he was imprisoned, Schrappen felt safe writing to him.

As Schrappen got to know Johnson through their letters, she began to believe he was innocent. Her intuition proved to be right when Johnson was exonerated with the help of the Midwest Innocence Project. The real perpetrator had confessed, clearing Johnson’s name.

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After Johnson was released from prison, he traveled to visit Schrappen in person. She was overjoyed to see her friend and planted “several grandma kisses” on his cheek. Johnson expressed his gratitude for Schrappen’s belief in him, saying, “When you have people that believe in you and they won’t give up on you, then it makes it harder for you to give up on yourself.”

This heartwarming story shows the power of kindness and the impact of a lasting pen pal relationship.