Archie Williams, a man sent to prison for a crime he never committed, shared his touching story on last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent.
In 1983, Williams was convicted of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment at the age of 22 even though forensic evidence and testimony pointed to his innocence.
Thirty-seven years later, the 59-year-old has been released and was finally able to show his singing talent to the world on America’s Got Talent.
Speaking on the harrowing experience, Williams said:
I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I knew I was innocent. I didn’t commit a crime. But being a poor black kid, I didn’t have the economic ability to fight the state of Louisiana. They wanted somebody to pay. I never let my mind go to prison.”
His case was taken up by the Innocence Project in the 1990s, and a fingerprint analysis in 2019 ultimately proved his innocence, prompting his release from jail in March last year.
“I’m still trying to process the freedom that I have right now”, he said to actor Terry Crews, who features on the show. He went on to give an emotional rendition of Elton John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me, earning him a unanimous spot in the next round.
Williams’ performance also got him a standing ovation and a hug from Simon Cowell.
See the video of his performance below:
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