Willie Grimes was released from prison on Friday after serving 24 years for a rape he didn't commit. His release followed a finding by the Innocence Commission in April recommending release. www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/10/05/3579327/man-exonerated-after-24-years.html
Grimes' case is similar to many others - there was clearly evidence at the time of trial that suggested he was innocence. There were several witnesses who testified he was somewhere else when the crime was committed. The State relied on hair found at the scene which the State's expert came from a black man - although they didn't try to establish it belonged to Grimes. A big part of his exoneration was based on a fingerprint found a banana a peel - a fingerprint analyst testified that the print matched another man who had a lengthy criminal record, including assaulting a female.
Grimes always maintained his innocence. He refused to accept a plea, and remained in prison longer than necessary because he refused to participate in programs where he would have to acknowledged his innocence. He was finally released on parole, but only after his lawyer convinced him to agree to register as a sex offender.
In my opinion this is one example where an innocence commission operated as is it was meant to. They recommended relief in case where the defendant may not have been able to prevail in court. While the evidence was compelling, I don't think it would enough to establish actual innocence in Texas.
Congratulations to Willie Grimes, and all those who worked to free him. He deserves to celebrate.