Philadelphia man released from prison after nearly 7 decades

Joe Ligon, the nation's oldest juvenile lifer, left State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Montgomery County last Thursday morning. 

Joe has been in prison since 1953 after he and a group of teens were implicated in a robbery and assault spree that left two people dead and six injured.

Joe admits he was there, but denies killing anyone. He spent 68 years in prison-- before being released last week.

Attorney Bradley Bridge has represented Joe Ligon since 2006 and joined Good Day Philadelphia to discuss Joe's case. 

According to a transcript that Joe held since 1953, he was involved in a "casual" way since he was there but did not participate in the crimes. 

Joe had an opportunity to get out on parole in the 70s and again in 2017 after a ruling by the supreme court made him eligible but he rejected it.

"In the 70s, he could've gone out on clemency," Bradley explained but Joe refused because it would have left him on a lifetime of parole. Joe felt that it would not have left him free. 

He wanted to be completely free out on his own terms and fortunately the judge agreed to those terms after Attorney Bridge litigated it down for him. 

"He seems to be doing pretty good," Attorney Bridge affirmed of the now 83-year-old Joe Ligon.

It's been a whirlwind for Joe now that he's out as most of his interactions have been with people he's known in jail for the past 30 or 40 years.  



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