News 05.16.08

James Woodard adjusts to life on the outside

Two weeks ago, James Woodard walked out of a Dallas County courtroom a free man for the first time in 27 years. He was arrested days after New Year’s Day in 1981, and was convicted of a rape he didn’t commit based on an eyewitness misidentification. Now Woodard, who was represented by his attorneys at the Innocence Project of Texas, is working to reclaim his life.

"It's sort of like waking up from a dream," Woodard said, walking through the corridors of Dallas City Hall, trying to track down his birth certificate. "When you first wake up you are first kind of groggy and then as time passes you get more coherent."

Watch video with Woodard and read some of his letters to former Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade in an online feature new today on CNN


Woodard is the 18th person cleared by DNA evidence in Dallas County to date – more than any other county in the nation. Fourteen of them have been officially exonerated –

read their stories here


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