Innocent & Free After 29 Years: Let's Help!
A personal fundraiser byHenry James
Help Henry secure housing and fulfill his dream of starting his own woodworking business!
raised by 446 people
Henry James spent 29 years in Angola prison (a former slave plantation) in Louisiana for a crime he didn't commit. Henry was wrongly convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1982, even though serological testing had excluded him as the attacker — a fact that his lawyer failed to share with the jury. He was convicted largely based on the erroneous identification of the rape survivor.
When he was first incarcerated, Henry could not read or write well, but taught himself to do both so that he could use the prison's law library to work on his case and write letters to innocence organizations like the Innocence Project.
For several years, the Innocence Project and Innocence Project New Orleans worked to get DNA testing to prove Henry’s innocence, but the evidence was lost and presumed to be destroyed. In 2010, a crime lab official happened upon the missing evidence in Henry's case. DNA testing proved his innocence and in 2011 he was exonerated.
Since then, Henry has been working hard to rebuild his life after nearly three decades of wrongful conviction. Because of New Orleans’ inadequate compensation law, he received only minimal compensation (roughly $11,000 for each year he spent in prison), he has struggled to secure long-term housing because he doesn't have a long or consistent work history to show landlords, due to his wrongful incarceration.
Henry has been working two jobs to support himself and his dog Coco, but shortly before Hurricane Ida hit, Henry lost his housing in New Orleans and had to evacuate.
His dream is to secure a place for him and Coco where he can live and start a woodworking business. Woodworking is a passion he developed while incarcerated at Angola.
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