In November, Wilbert Jones was released from prison after more than 45 years behind bars, when a Baton Rouge judge overruled his 1974 rape conviction, determining that crucial evidence had been withheld from his defense attorneys.

Two months later, Malcolm Alexander was freed in New Orleans after a judge ruled his counsel had been ineffective during the 1980 trial that convicted him of rape, exonerating him after nearly 38 years in prison. Newly tested DNA evidence also linked another man to the crime.