Archie Williams spent 36 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit—now he’s free thanks to fingerprint testing.
“I just fought for this moment here. I never gave up,” he stated after his release.
Williams was convicted in 1983 for the rape and attempted murder of a woman at her home in an upscale neighborhood in Baton Rouge, LA. The victim identified Williams in a photo lineup and he was sentenced to life without parole.
A new judge was recently assigned William’s case. She ordered new fingerprint testing, as technology had improved since the case was last examined. The results implicated another man, Stephen Forbes, as the perpetrator. Forbes later confessed to at least five other rapes. He died in prison in 1996.
Williams was exonerated of all charges on March 21, 2019. He was one of the oldest cases taken on by The Innocence Project. Williams was 22 years old when he was arrested—today he is 58.
“They have guys that’s been there 50 years and over that’s innocent just like me,” he stated. “These guys didn’t have access to the material that I had access to. So, they’re just there. And they don’t have any hope.”
Williams said he wants to try and help bring other inmates justice and hope in light of his release.