| Crime |

After Innocence Proved and Freedom Restored, Then What?

Dallas County Sheriff's Department/CNN
Wiley Fountain, last seen when he posed for this March mug shot
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On Friday, we pointed your attention to some CNN pieces about James Lee Woodard and how he's adjusting to life after spending 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Today, CNN follows up with a story about those freed men finding it difficult to carry on -- among them, Wiley Fountain, who, in 2003, received a full pardon from Gov. Rick Perry when DNA evidence revealed Fountain didn't commit the aggravated sexual assault of which he'd been convicted in 1986.

Fountain served 15 years in prison -- only to wind up in Dallas County jail in March on a theft charge. Now, reports Ed Lavandera, Fountain is nowhere to be found: "Just as the headlines of his release vanished from the front pages of the newspaper, Fountain, 51, has disappeared. And so have his hopes for a fresh start after spending 15 years in prison for an aggravated sexual assault he did not commit." Turns out, there are many more like Wiley Fountain. And, likely, many more time come. --Robert Wilonsky

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


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