DNA evidence to free convicted rapist
Willie O. Williams spent 21 years in prison for crime he did not commit
By BILL TORPY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/22/07
Convicted rapist Willie O. Williams will be released from prison Tuesday after spending 21 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
"We are convinced today Mr. Williams was not responsible for this," Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard said at an afternoon press conference today.
Howard said has started an investigation to find who was the actual rapist in the April 1985 attack on a woman at an apartment complex parking lot in Sandy Springs.
Williams was exonerated based on DNA evidence that was tested through a request of the Georgia Innocence Project, who had received a letter from Williams in July 2005 saying he had been wrongly imprisoned for two decades.
Williams was convicted based on eye-witness testimony by the victim.
Howard said Williams will be brought back to Fulton Tuesday from the D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Folkston. He will be released on bond through the Fulton County Jail before the charges are officially cleared in about two weeks.
This is why I am not enthusiastic about the Death Penalty. What if this were a murder case and the defendant was on Death Row? Could you imagine that kind of mental anguish?
But now that he's out... how do you compensate someone who lost 21 years? Most States don't have an adequate system for repaying those who have been wrongfully convicted. Some are reluctant to even give an apology.
But what is a fair price for 21 years of someones life?