Innocent man is exonerated after nearly 40 years and brings home the dog he raised in prison

Can you imagine spending nearly 40 years in prison during a state penitentiary for a horrendous crime that you simply had nothing toto with? It’s a nightmare that, tragically, is etched actually for Malcolm Alexander. The Louisiana-based man was wrongfully convicted of a crime he never committed in 1980 and spent subsequent 38 years fighting it with everything he had from within the cell walls of a maximum-security prison. Thankfully, though, he wasn’t alone. He had his Dog, Inn, with him to urge him through rock bottom points in the battle for his freedom. Inn’s devotion to her dad finally paid off two years ago when the prisoner was exonerated of all charges after proving his innocence.

In 1979, a woman opened a replacement antique store in Gretna, Louisiana and shortly after was raped by a Black man. He had entered the shop and grabbed her from behind then forced her into a dark bathroom. There, he held her facing far away from him with a gun to the rear of her head while he committed the horrendous crime. Due to another accusation from a especial woman who was proven to be lying, Malcolm’s photo ended up being presented to the rape victim with several others as a part of an identification procedure. Though it had been recorded that she “tentatively” chose Malcolm’s picture as a “possible” match, by the time it visited trial she said she was 98% positive it had been Malcolm.

Malcolm was then wrongfully convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The prisoner was sent to the Louisiana State Penitentiary to serve out his sentence. The Angola prison features a history as a plantation that was later converted into the utmost security “prison farm” that it'was now. Since he arrived all those decades ago, Malcolm has maintained that he's innocent of the crime every single day. Thankfully, The Innocence Project believed Malcolm and began working to prove his innocence in 1996, but it might be 17 years before they made any headway.

Thankfully, in the meantime Malcolm met Inn and then the dog was ready to keep the prisoner’s spirits lifted in the hope of higher days. While there are several official programs that allow inmates to boost dogs, that wasn’t how the prisoner met his dog. Inn happened to be the runt of the litter of another inmate that Malcolm was friends with in the prison. Consistent with him, he picked Inn out of the litter because she needed him the foremost . “I named her Inn because I used to be innocent and she or he was innocent,” says Malcolm in an interview with TODAY. Malcolm went on to mention that, as a prisoner, he would hold conversations with Inn and dream of the day they’d both gain their freedom. “One day we’ll be out of here. Just twiddling my thumbs ,” he recollects telling his devoted dog.

That day finally came on January 30th, 2018, when Malcolm was exonerated of all charges and he stepped out of the Angola institution, leaving his days as a prisoner behind him permanently. The Innocence Project staff coordinated with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and native counsel from Innocence Project New Orleans to pour over Malcolm’s case and find the ape-man that might prove his innocence. The Project's mission is to assist free the thousands of people that are wrongfully convicted as a result of inadequate representation. Whether it’s because a lawyer is neglectful or if they're just overloaded, tragically, there are too many who let innocent clients fall flat the cracks. The Project aims to line that to rights. Malcolm fits into that category perfectly. It was found in the court transcript of Malcolm’s trial that his lawyer failed horribly to defend him.

“The stakes during this case couldn’t are higher for Mr. Alexander who faced a compulsory sentence of life without parole, yet the attorney that he entrusted together with his life did next to zilch to defend him,” said Innocence Project’s post-conviction litigation director, Vanessa Potkin. Though it had been available, Malcolm’s lawyer never sought rape kit blood-type testing, something that might have proven his innocence beyond a doubt. He also didn’t show up for court on quite one occasion, did not file many pleadings (such as challenging the means of Malcolm’s identification in 1980), and didn’t give a gap statemet in Malcolm’s trial. If that wasn’t bad enough, he didn’t call any witnesses to Malcolm’s defense and did not “adequately cross-examine ” state witnesses regarding his identification. Then, in 2013, The Innocence Project discovered hair strands found conspicuous at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab. The counsel overseeing Malcolm’s case sought DNA testing which revealed that the hair belonged neither to him nor the rape victim, indicating it had been somebody else who committed the crime.

Eventually, after an extended , arduous legal process and cutting through bureaucratic procedures, Malcolm’s innocence was finally proven and he was released. Thankfully, Inn was given her freedom also only one day after her dad walked faraway from the prison. Malcolm and Inn are staying together with his son, Malcom II, who is now in his forties. He and his son will reconnect while Malcolm works on piecing his life together after bye-bye in prison. He and Inn will continue leaning on one another through the great times and even the tough ones. “To have a dog may be a privilege. It makes the planet different,” Malcolm says of Inn. “Let what happened be gone, and let’s advance . Simple. I’m surrounded by love,” he explains his feelings on his wrongful conviction. While in prison, Malcolm learned the craft of woodworking and jewelry-making and is hoping to start his own business in carpentry and selling his jewelry at New Orleans market booths. If you'd wish to help him get his life going, you'll donate to him here. to ascertain the tearjerking moment that he and Inn were reunited as free beings, watch the video below.

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