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.
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.
Our client Lydell Grant has been declared innocent! Lydell spent nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Even though DNA evidence identified the real perpetrator, who was caught and confessed, it has taken another 18 months to clear his name. pic.twitter.com/DPus50FRY0
— Innocence Texas-Innocence Project of Texas (@innocencetexas) May 19, 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.
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.
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