Came In Handy: Fingerprints Helped Free A Man Serving 36 Years In Prison For A Rape He Didn’t Commit [Video]

Forensic Science

Source: Milan Markovic / Getty

Fingerprints Help Exonerate A Man That Spent 36 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn’t Commit

Free at last. Archie Williams spent almost 36 years in prison for a 1982 rape and assault case that he didn’t commit. He was finally released after being exonerated.

According to NY Post, during his case, Williams’ family testified that he was indeed at home during the time that the incident took place, but the 12 members of the jury thought otherwise and found the then 22-year-old Williams guilty and he was sentenced to life without parole.

Last week however, new fingerprint technology with a national database showed that the crime was committed by another man, Stephen Forbes. Forbes allegedly committed several other rapes around the same time and died in prison in 1996.

Williams first requested that his fingerprints be run in the national database in 1999, but it was denied by prosecutors.

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

Louisiana law says that Williams is only entitled to a maximum of $250,000 for his wrongful incarceration, roughly $7,000 for each year he was in prison.