Shane Pryor escaped custody, prompting a ‘manhunt’. But he was just a boy.

By The Philadelphia Inquirer, | May 23, 2024

Stoneleigh Fellow Jennifer Merrigan published an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer discussing Shane Pryor’s story and how the legal system can punish those who are on trial but presumed innocent.

In January, Shane Pryor’s story was in the news. It had all the hallmarks of a gripping tale: A young person, in custody after being accused of murder, managed to escape from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After a four-day manhunt, Pryor was captured on Jan. 28, and charged with escape, aggravated assault, hindering apprehension, and a host of other offenses.

When he was captured, the news was met with relief and praise for a job well done. The narrative served as a reassurance of the efficacy of our law enforcement and justice systems. A “danger to the community” escaped, was speedily captured, and now will face the consequences.

But there is another side to Pryor’s story.

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