I hate I missed this one

Posted: May 4, 2008 in Headlines

Just when I thought I was going to have some time to watch the 60 Minutes report on inmates who had been wrongly accused and freed on DNA evidence, I got caught in a 2 hour conversation with a neighbor—missing the program altogether.

DNA Helps Free Inmate After 27 Years

60 Minutes: James Woodard Owes His Freedom To Project Started By Dallas County D.A.

(CBS) There’s been some bitter soul searching going on in Dallas County, as one man after another is being released from prison after being convicted, years ago, of crimes they did not commit. As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, it happened again just last week with the release of a man who had been proclaiming his innocence, behind bars, for 27 years.

So far, 17 men have been cleared in Dallas – that’s more than most states. All were put on trial by prosecutors who worked for the legendary District Attorney Henry Wade. Wade was Dallas’ top prosecutor for more than 30 years. He never lost a case he handled personally. But it turns out the record of Wade’s office was too good to be true. And now, a new Dallas district attorney is focusing on the Wade legacy – it’s a search for innocent men waiting to be exonerated.

James Woodard went away in 1981, convicted in the murder of his girlfriend who had been raped and strangled. He was prosecuted by the office of District Attorney Henry Wade. For nearly 30 years, he never gave up writing letters, and filing motions. But no one was willing to grant him a hearing-until now.

60 Minutes was there last year when Woodard gave the DNA sample that would determine his true guilt or innocence. Since 2001, there has been a series of men in Dallas County who have walked from prison into freedom. (more…)

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