Court rules against Attorney General in fight over exonerated inmate compensation

Published: July 13, 2023 at 12:01 AM CDT

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – For Malcolm Alexander, a decades-long battle might finally be coming to an end.

“Actually, tears came to my eyes. I felt that it’s finally all over with,” Alexander said.

Alexander spent 38 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was released in 2018, after his 1979 rape conviction was overturned because of ineffective counsel, and DNA later proved he wasn’t responsible for the crime.

About a year and a half after his release, with little money and most of his working years behind him, Innocence Project New Orleans filed a petition on Alexander’s behalf. The petition asked the state of Louisiana to grant Alexander some of the money set aside in the Innocence Compensation Fund. The fund allows people who were wrongly convicted to receive $40,000 a year for up to 10 years.

State law says to be eligible for the money, a person’s conviction needs to be reversed or vacated, and clear and convincing scientific or non-scientific evidence has to exist that proves factual innocence. Despite the DNA evidence, Alexander hasn’t received any compensation nearly five years after his release.

Watch the segment here.