Innocence Project client Darrill Henry, a father of two young children, was arrested in 2004 and spent seven years in jail, awaiting trial for a crime he didn’t commit: the murder of two women in New Orleans. He was spared a death sentence but condemned to spend the rest of his life at Angola, a former plantation and one of the nation’s harshest prisons. On May 2020, the judge who presided over Darrill’s 2011 trial overturned his conviction, ruling that new DNA in his case established his innocence by “clear and convincing evidence.”
Since coming home, Darrill has focused on making up for lost time and experiences, including spending time with his children who are now adults. Shortly after his release, Darrill’s daughter, who was seven when he was imprisoned, gave birth to his first grandchild, Antonio. Darrill has also channeled his experiences into poetry and drafted his autobiography, which he hopes to publish someday.
On January 20, 2023, the charges against Darrill Henry were finally dismissed, leading to his official exoneration. Judge Angel Harris, who took over this case after being elected as a New Orleans judge said to Darrill: “This will be a case that will guide me through my career on the bench… I absolutely wish you the best.”
Our community has been tremendously supportive of Darrill— helping to raise money to pay bail when his conviction was first overturned. If not for this generosity, Darrill would have been in jail for an additional three years while his case was being resolved.
Today, we are asking our community to join us in celebrating the culmination of Darrill’s fight for justice. If you have the means, please consider donating to this fundraiser which will help us recognize Darrill’s most recent victory and ensure he can pay for housing and other basic needs as he rebuilds his life as a truly free man.
Photo Credits: Claire Bangser