27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit:
If it were up to the revenge obsessed death enthusiasts another innocent man would've killed thanks to state-sanctioned murder. But James Woodward is yet another reason why the death penalty needs to be abolished for good.
Woodard was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend in 1981 and sentenced to life in prison. He was released on April 29, the 17th Dallas County inmate to be exonerated by DNA testing.
In one aspect at least, Woodard and the 16 others are lucky; the evidence that freed them was preserved even after their appeals were exhausted and the courts finalized their convictions. If they had been tried in a county or city that has no preservation laws, the DNA to clear them would have been destroyed long ago.
But more and more counties and states are passing laws for evidence preservation, according to the Innocence Project, practicing what Dallas County has long been doing.
Check out the Innocence Project, they're doing great things.