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Exonerated after 37 years, Archie Williams auditions for America's Got Talent

Archie Williams Upon His Release

Last night I saw the most uplifting performance I've ever seen on a television show I usually don't pay much attention to.

Archie Williams, wrongfully convicted, wrongfully imprisoned for 37 years, and exonerated based on DNA and the work of the Innocence Project, stood before 3,500 people on national television.

The song of his choosing perfectly fit him as a person. Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

I can't light no more of your darkness

All my pictures seem to fade to black and white

I'm growin' tired, and time stands still before me

Frozen here on the ladder of my life

Don't let the sun go down on me

Although I search myself, it's always someone else I see

I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free

But losin' everything is like the sun goin' down on me

Don't discard me just because you think I mean you harm

But these cuts I have, oh, they need love to help them heal

Simon Cowell, not known for sympathetic comments toward the contestants, said "I will never listen to that song in the same way. After you sang that, it took on a whole different meaning for me, and you are a very courageous person. And, by the way, you have a very good voice. You really do. This is an audition that I will never forget for the whole of my life."

Click on the YouTube video below and enjoy the show!

Williams was brought into the limelight because of his talent, and when the audience looks beyond that, they see a regular person, true, poor and underprivileged, but not a criminal. They see a basically good person who was victimized by our criminal justice system. It is another step in the public realizing that this could happen to anyone. It could happen to them. The system has serious flaws.

There are a very few exonerees whose talent is given another chance to express itself and, to a large degree, may even have had attention drawn to it because of their wrongful conviction. Richard Phillips is one such person in our area, and we are blessed to have him with us.

Proving Innocence provides professional investigative services to free wrongfully convicted individuals and we also help exonerees in their long journey toward normalcy. We depend upon donors such as you to enable us to help the strategic point when a person is first exonerated. Won't you help us to continue to fulfill and even expand that mission with a regular recurring donation? You really cannot understand what it means and how grateful women and men are for the support and assistance you provide for them through Proving Innocence.


Thank you!


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