Wrongfully convicted; Angola prisoner released after 30 years in jail

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Friday, October 21, 2011 - 10:28pm

A Louisiana man is released from Angola after spending 30-years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Henry James was 19-years-old when he was convicted of aggravated rape in 1982. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Innocence Project of New Orleans discovered evidence that had been lost.

A DNA test proved James' innocence, and a judge vacated the conviction. James was released from Angola earlier in the early afternoon on Friday, Oct. 21.

"It's been a bump in a whole long road, but I had to stay positive,” James said. “I had to keep my mind focused on what I wanted and what I believed in, and what I was feeling. And my goal was to get justice served."

Now 50-years-old, James says he holds no bitterness about the wrongful conviction.

Several months ago David D’Aquin went to New Orleans and talked to a man who had a similar situation. He was spending a life sentence at Angola for a murder he did not commit. He was released several years ago after spending 27 years in jail. He explains why Louisiana has one of the worst compensations for false convictions in the nation. Click here to view that story.

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