James Lee Woodard, who served more than 27 years in prison before DNA testing proved him innocent and led to his release in 2008, received a pardon Wednesday from Texas Gov. Rick Perry declaring his innocence. With the pardon, he becomes the 244th person exonerated by DNA testing in the United States and the 39th in Texas. Woodard was represented by the Innocence Project of Texas.
"James Lee Woodard was wrongfully convicted for a crime he did not commit," Perry said. "My action today cannot give back the time he spent in prison, but it does end this miscarriage of justice."
Perry was active on wrongful conviction issues yesterday. While the pardon for Woodard is admirable, Perry
also made troubling changes to the Texas Forensic Science Commission
, leading to the cancellation of a key hearing on the arson science that was used to convict Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004.