Yesterday in Louisiana, Innocence Project client Rickey Johnson said it felt wonderful and surreal to be free and surrounded by family. Johnson, who was exonerated on Monday by DNA tests proving his innocence after serving 25 years in prison, was reunited with his three children and surrounded by dozens of relatives. Also joining Johnson yesterday were others exonerated by DNA testing.
Johnson also spoke out yesterday in support of his friend Archie Williams, who has been fighting for DNA tests in his case for 13 years. Williams’s family members said they had waited too long for the testing they believed would set Williams free. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Doug Moreau has refused to cooperate with Williams’ requests for testing, and a prosecutor in Moreau’s office told reporters yesterday that she believed the victim’s recollection of a scar on the perpetrator proves Williams’ guilt just as strongly as DNA evidence.
Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck disagreed. “It’s foolish to believe in an eyewitness when there is scientific evidence to prove the facts,” Scheck said yesterday. Scheck noted that in Johnson’s case, the victim identified him as the perpetrator – but DNA testing ultimately proved his innocence.
Read the full story – and watch video coverage of Johnson’s statements – here
. (Baton Rouge Advocate, 01/16/08)