Over the course of two decades, Huwe Burton ran in a prison yard while serving a sentence for a crime he did not commit. In 1989, Burton, then 16, walked into his home in the Bronx and found his mother stabbed to death, and became the primary suspect immediately thereafter. After being pressured by detectives, Burton confessed to the crime, and despite recanting his false confession, he spent 19 years behind bars.

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Burton insisted on his innocence for years, dreaming of one day running a marathon as a free man. Finally, in January 2019, Burton was exonerated with help of the Innocence Project and recently fulfilled his longstanding goal by completing the New York City Marathon.

His incredible story of perseverance in the face of injustice will be featured on HBO’s Real Sports with Byrant Gumbel.


“I’m in prison and I would see some of the older guys … they’re running and they seemed to be at peace. I was like, ‘Wow, they look free,’” he told Gumbel. “So I was like, ‘Let me try my hand at some running.’”

Huwe previously ran the TCS New York City Marathon in 2016, but this year’s race marked a particular milestone for him. After spending two decades in prison, and 28 years wrongfully convicted, Huwe not only ran the marathon as a free person but also helped raise more than $28,000 to support other Innocence Project clients fighting to prove their innocence.

Watch Huwe on HBO’s Real Sports with Byrant Gumbel to learn more about his journey and hear what the experience meant from Huwe himself.