A man serving a life sentence following his conviction for a 1982 rape and stabbing was freed last week after a match in a fingerprint database led to his exoneration. 

The Innocence Project, a nonprofit focused on wrongful convictions, announced Thursday that Archie Williams had walked free after a Louisiana district court commissioner vacated his conviction after 36 years in prison.

“Mr. Williams first wrote to the Innocence Project for help in 1995. He was 35 years old," Vanessa Potkin, the project's director of post-conviction litigation, said in a statement. "Today, he walked out of prison at age 58."

The commissioner, Kinasiyumki Kimble, moved last month to search an expanded FBI fingerprint database using prints left decades ago at the scene of the crime — a proposal to which prosecutors agreed.


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