A Louisiana man Malcolm Alexander has been released from jail after serving 38 years for a false rape accusation.
The Innocence Project, a non-profit which secured the release of Alexander, shared his story, from his journey to prison in 1979, to his eventual release.
DNA evidence proved that his conviction – a result of an incompetent lawyer and an unreliable identification process – was wrong.
The events that led to his conviction are a little more complicated: Alexander had had consensual sex with a white woman who asked him for money and then accused him of sexual assault.
The woman’s accusation was found to be uncorroborated, and the police dropped the case.
Another white woman, around the same time, was also sexually assaulted. Her assailant had grabbed her from behind in her new antique store, and with a gun to her head, led her to a small, dark bathroom where he raped her from behind.
When 4 months later the woman was asked to identify her assailant from an array of photos that included Alexander’s (as a result of his prior accusation) she “tentatively” chose his.
In a physical line-up 3 days later, with Alexander the only one present among those whose photo was in the array picked from, the woman again “tentatively” selected him.
Alexander’s attorney, characteristically incompetent, did not make court appearances and failed to file important pleadings, including a motion challenging the identification.
The Innocence Project took up Alexander’s case back in 1996, and had a breakthrough in 2013, after hair evidence recovered from the location where the rape took place was found.
DNA testing proved that 3 crime scene hairs had the same DNA profile that did not match with Alexander’s or the victim.
Released finally, his family – son, grandson, mother and sister – were excited to receive him, jumping for joy.