Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted, twice, of raping and killing a Maryland 9-year-old girl in 1984 -- a crime for which he was to be put to death. But in the early 1990s, he was released from prison and became, as CNN put it in 2000, the "first prison inmate in the United States who was on death row at some point to have been exonerated based on DNA evidence." Of course, in Dallas County that's become a regular occurrence, which prompted Bloodsworth to write for The Huffington Post this piece about Johnnie Earl Lindsey, who was released from prison on Friday after serving more than 25 years for a rape DNA evidence shows he did not commit.
Johnnie overcame the longest of odds to win his freedom in a system that was convinced of his guilt for over a quarter century. Imagine the patience and persistence that took. Imagine the hardships he endured being isolated from friends and family. Imagine never knowing if the truth would come out. Somehow, Johnnie found the strength to persevere.Bloodsworth also runs The Justice Project, which is pushing to make DNA testing more accessible. --Robert Wilonsky