Exonerated: Henry James Freed from La. Prison After 30 Years on Rape Conviction
Again- we are always happy to hear these kind of cases. Another innocent man freed after 30 years of his life taken away. God is good.
A free man named Henry James has been cleared of raping a woman in 1981 but last month DNA tests freed him from a Louisiana prison Friday. The Innocence Project New Orleans asked Judge Sullivan to throw out the case and order James’ immediate release which James served the longest sentence to be cleared through DNA tests.
The Grio reported James’ reaction to being release:
Paul Killebrew, one of James’ attorneys, said his client is “overjoyed.”
“He’s really excited to be able to see and spend time with his family, and he’s grateful to the district attorney’s office that once the DNA results came in, they acted decisively and correctly,” Killebrew said in a statement.
Henry James Jr. said he never lost hope he would be freed:
“If you lose hope, you lose everything,” said James, 50. “I kept praying and telling myself, ‘It’s going to be alright. God is going to make a way for you.’”
“I thanked God for blessing me because I made it out alive,” he said. “When you go to Angola, there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever walk out.”
Henry James is now 50. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was convicted in 1982 of raping an acquaintance who lived near him in Westwego.
James’ lawyers say he had interacted with the woman several times and was with her husband a day before the attack. The woman initially told police she didn’t know her attacker, but she later picked James out of a lineup.
He testified at his trial and presented three witnesses to back up his alibi, always has maintained he was innocent of raping the woman.
Last month, a final report on the results of court-ordered DNA tests excluded James as the perpetrator.
James is eligible for up to $250,000 under the state’s no-fault policy for compensating those exonerated of crimes. Payments are capped at $25,000 a year for up to 10 years of incarceration.
Saying the $250,000 limit is insufficient for James’ ordeal, his attorneys said they plan to ask the state Legislature to raise the limit.