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Since 1989, 317 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 30 who pleaded guilty to crimes they did not commit and 18 who served time on death row. The Innocence Project provided direct representation or critical assistance in 172 of these cases.
Most recently, Nathan Brown of Louisiana was exonerated on June 25, 2014, after serving nearly 17 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Nathan Brown (white shirt) with Louisiana exoneree Michael Williams (black cap), together with his legal team just after his release.On the day of his release, Nathan went shopping with his legal team and tried on his first "real" shirt in 17 years.
Nathan Brown walked out of prison on June 25, 2014, after a Jefferson Parish judge overturned his 1997 attempted aggravated rape conviction. Results from DNA testing proved his innocence and pointed to an alternative suspect, who is currently serving a sentence for a felony in Mississippi and who, at the time, lived near the crime scene.
Nathan served nearly 17 years of a 25-year sentence for a crime that he did not commit.
Nathan has always maintained his innocence and contacted the Innocence Project to help prove that he was wrongfully convicted. With the consent of the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s office, we were able to conduct DNA testing on crime scene evidence that excluded him. When that profile was entered into the federal DNA database, it matched to a man serving a sentence for another felony in Mississippi.
Thanks to the work of the Innocence Project, and with assistance from the Innocence Project New Orleans, Nathan Brown is now free and has finally been reunited with his family.
To find out more, check out www.innocenceproject.org