Willie Grimes is a free man. In 1987, Grimes heard a report on television that a rape had been committed and that police were searching for him in connection with the incident. Grimes, thinking that it was all a big misunderstanding, dropped by the local police station to clear up the problem with the police. He ended up spending almost a quarter of a century behind bars as a result of that decision.
Grimes asked the police to use a rape kit on the woman who accused him of having violated her. The rape kit showed that a hair belonging to a black man was present on the woman (though the hair was never identified as belonging to Grimes). This, combined with the fact that Grimes’ name had come up in connection with the incident, was enough for the prosecutor at the time to convict him —in spite of testimony from numerous friends who swore under oath that Grimes was in a house more than a mile away from the crime scene when the rape took place.
Grimes spent the next 24 year years in prison before being released in May of 2012. However, even after his release, Grimes was forced to register as a sex offender. His criminal record and his status as a sex offender meant that he had trouble getting a job and finding housing. It was not until a recent retrial of the case in a North Carolina courtroom that Grimes’ name was cleared, allowing him to be free without any criminal record for the first time since 1987.
Unfortunately, stories like Grimes’ are all too common in today’s criminal justice system. People have gone to jail in the past for crimes they did not commit and people will go to jail in the future for crimes they did not commit. The only way to ensure that you yourself are not a victim of a miscarriage of justice is to work with a well-qualified criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can help you prepare a vigorous defense, bringing in the kind of experts and witnesses that are needed to prove that you are innocent, even though the state should have to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Posted in Criminal Defense