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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) –Lester Stiggers is a 63-year-old man who has suffered so many strokes he can barely walk or speak. But in 1965 in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, he was a boy in Arkansas convicted of murder. When Stiggers was just 14, he shot and killed his abusive father.
“I was always scared of him,” he said.
The teen was sentenced to life in prison, a prison so brutal it was the subject of a federal court case, documentaries and a blockbuster movie. Many prisoners were forced to pick cotton, tortured and murdered.
After five years behind bars, Stiggers was granted a furlough and temporarily released, and that is when he fled to Michigan. Governor Bill Milliken offered him asylum based on the horrific conditions.