Crime

After 27 Years in Prison, James Lee Woodard's "Adventure" Continues

CNN

James Lee Woodard, getting a driver's license after 27 years in prison

Speaking of local news stories getting national attention this a.m., CNN follows in 60 Minutes' footsteps with a story about James Lee Woodard, who was released from prison on April 29 after serving 27 years for a murder he didn't commit. This week, CNN's actually run two pieces about Woodard and DNA exonerations in Dallas County: In one piece, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins talks about prosecuting the prosecutors who knowingly withheld evidence that led to innocent men receiving lengthy prison terms. Says Watkins: "When individuals intend to cause a person to be convicted for a crime they did not commit, that's an embarrassment for our profession."

In the other story, Woodard discusses the difficulty that comes with trying to reclaim 27 lost years -- down to obtaining ID, other than prison-issued identification. Notes reporter Ed Lavandera: "He can't open a bank account with a prison-issued I.D. He can't get a state I.D. card without a birth certificate or Social Security card. It's not easy starting over. Woodard calls it an 'adventure.'" --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky