Fingerprints Exonerate Man Who Spent 36 Years In Prison For Rape

Written by Alyssa Brook March 23, 2019
Photo Credit: ABC

Fingerprints Exonerate Man Who Spent 36 Years In Prison For Rape

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A Louisiana man has been exonerated after spending 36 years in prison for a rape that he did not commit.

The Daily Mail reports that Archie Williams, 58, was convicted of raping and stabbing a woman in her home in Baton Rouge in 1982. At the time, he was just 22-years-old and was only convicted after the white victim identified him in a line-up of other suspects. She and a neighbor had previously been presented with photographs of him by police on two separate occasions.

Williams was actually home asleep during the attack, but, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He has been fighting ever since to have his conviction overturned.

His conviction was dropped after police matched fingerprints found at the scene to those of serial rapist Stephen Forbes. Prosecutors had previously refused to run the prints, claiming Archie had no statutory right. If it had been done sooner, it may have prevented Forbes from other attacks on women.

During Williams’ hearing, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said, “This is the right, honest, ethical and now the factual thing to do. You are factually innocent, wrongfully convicted, and on behalf of the state, we apologize that you have suffered this.”

Williams could receive a maximum of $250,000 for his wrongful imprisonment, which is only $7,000 for each year in jail.

Williams spoke of his new freedom, adding, “There wasn’t a day that passed that I didn’t stay focused on gaining my freedom. I always kept a positive mind. I knew one-day justice would come.” He also says he plans to still attend college!

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