Tuesday, 29 Apr, 2008 Offbeat
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Man Found Not Guilty After 27 Years Spent in Prison

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A man who was sentenced to life 27 years ago was cleared of the crime and will be released on Tuesday.

James Lee Woodard, 55 year old man, of Dallas is the longest-serving man who was convicted by mistake that was proved by DNA testing.

Mr Woodard was sentenced in July 1981 for the murder of a woman, who was raped and strangled near the Trinity River in Dallas. The man was convicted following the testimony from two witnesses. One of them later repudiated a charge, while the testimony from the other witness is thought to be inaccurate.

The results of DNA test showed that James Woodard was not guilty of the crimes, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said after a careful review of the case has been done.

Mr Woodard was previously convicted of such crimes as burglary, marijuana possession, driving under the influence of the drugs, theft and unauthorized use of the vehicle, according to the criminal records.

Through his time spend in prison, he repeatedly wrote letters to an appeals court, asking for DNA testing. However, his request was denied because prosecutors explained that there was not evidence for such testing. Mr. Woodard insisted that he was not guilty of the murder of the woman, who was his girlfriend.

At last, during a program supervised by the Innocence Project of Texas, his request was reviewed in 2007 by Mr Watkins, the new District Attorney. The DNA tests of the semen excluded him as a rapist, but he still was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend.

In order to prove he is not guilty, the rape and the murder should have been tied, which was confirmed by a forensic pathologist who examined the results of DNA tests, autopsy photos and other evidence this year.

Dallas County prosecutors said that the mistake would not have happened had this evidence been available in 1981.

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Comments:

37 votes

//7 Nov 06, 2009 05:08 AM | posted by: unkown
I LIKE PIE
41 votes

//6 Sep 29, 2009 10:57 PM | posted by: Katherine
it's alright. i feel bad for the man, but....IM DOING A STOPRY ON HIM. he's my new hero...! yay for you Jameey
46 votes

//5 Jun 27, 2008 12:07 AM | posted by: ELETHIA D
MY BRO HAS BEEN SENT TO GA PRISON ON 2 LIFE SENTENCE FOR A DOUBLE MURDER HE DIDN'T COMMIT. NO DNA WAS FOUND. A WITNESS CLAMING HE WAS THERE A THE SCENE. WHICH GAVE OVER 6 DIFFERENT STATEMENTS TO THE DETECTIVE. OVER A YEAR IN A HALF HE ADDED PEOPLE TOOK PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE SCENE. THE JUDGE ALLOW EVIDENCE INTO THE COURTROOM ONCE IT WAS ALREADY A MOTION FOR LIMINE. MY BROTHER HAD NUMEROUS OF LAWYER THAT WAS APPOINTED BY THE COURTS. THEY EITHER DROP THE CASE OR MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTY. THE LAST LAWYER THE COURT APPOINT HIM HAD LESS THAN 5 WEEKS TO PREPARE FOR A DOUBLE HOMICIDE CASE. PLEASE IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT CAN HELP OR JUST GIVE INFO WHO CAN WE WRITE TO GET SOMEONE TO LOOK INTO THE CASE PLEASE EMAIL ME AT ELETHIADE2@YAHOO.COM
43 votes

//4 May 30, 2008 05:58 AM | posted by: mik
usual stuff, there are still thousands more like that still inside. plus the thousands that are inside even though the cops or authuorities know they're innocent, but its easier to not say anything. only in america, land of the free.
43 votes

//3 May 09, 2008 04:06 AM | posted by: Karl
Crooked Texas Cops! They still do this stuff today down there. I know...first hand.
43 votes

//2 Apr 30, 2008 03:12 AM | posted by: Unknown
The courts of Texas owe this man an apology and a fully supported ($) transition into mainstream society. The government need also commit to introducing legislation to facilitate and expedite other cases such as this one!! No human being should loose their life for the mistakes of the courts and the government!
45 votes

//1 Apr 29, 2008 08:56 PM | posted by: alcotrazz [InfoMANIAC]
the guy is actually lost and his life is totally ruined. he won't be able to live in the modern society anymore...

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