Lydell Grant released from prison after DNA evidence cleared wrongful conviction

By: Alyssa Wilson

Lydell Grant, a Black man in Houston, was released from prison after DNA evidence cleared his wrongful murder conviction. He spent nine years writing letters from jail professing his innocence. 

RELATED: Black man awarded $750K for 44 years of wrongful imprisonment  

According to NBC News, the advancement of DNA evidence and computer technology led police to a new suspect, and they convinced Harris County prosecutors to release Grant on bail in November 2019. He was not released until May 2021.  

Texas’ highest criminal court ruled the 44-year-old was innocent in the fatal shooting of a man outside of a Houston bar in 2010. Grant had an alibi witness during trial, but his supporters say jurors were swayed by the flawed DNA analysis and a witness who thought Grant was the Black man suspected of being the shooter.  

Grant thanked the Innocence Project of Texas, whose executive director served as his attorney. “The Innocence Project is forever in my heart. Through my letters, my cry for help was heard. Here you have this person you don’t know, who’s claiming that he’s actually innocent. I want to thank them for believing me,” he said.  

RELATED: Yusef Salaam writing memoir about his wrongful imprisonment  

He is now entitled to compensation for his wrongful incarceration. Texas awards up to $80,000 for every year a wrongfully incarcerated person spends in prison, in addition to monthly annuity payments for the rest of their life. Grant is also working on getting his record of the crime expunged.  

If you or someone you know is suffering from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here. 

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