Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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35 years in prison: Man exonerated in rape case and freed

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BATON ROUGE - Criminal justice advocates say a man convicted of a 1982 rape in Louisiana's capital city has been exonerated and freed after 35 years in prison.

"Being innocent is a thing where you never give up on yourself," Archie Williams said. "You always fight for your freedom, no matter what."

The Innocence Project, which works to free wrongly convicted defendants, said in a news release that 58-year-old Archie Williams was released Thursday based on a check of an updated FBI fingerprint database. It says fingerprints found at the scene of the rape and stabbing in Baton Rouge were matched last week to another man - a confessed serial rapist who died in prison in 1996.

"This is a wrongful conviction based on technology and the processes that were in place then," District Attorney Hillar Moore said.

Williams walked out of the state courthouse in Baton Rouge along with relatives and attorneys, including Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck.


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