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Perry Lott Is Exonerated After 30 years of False Accusations

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After 30 years, justice has finally prevailed for Perry Lott.

Lott, who had been falsely accused of rape and burglary, was granted his freedom with the aid of DNA evidence. 

In 1987, Lott was charged with rape and burglary and went on to spend three decades behind bars. While in prison, the only strong case against the Oklahoman’s freedom was the survivor’s identification in a police list.

The leading cause of wrongful convictions is mistaken witness identification. It led Lott to file a motion to discard his conviction based on questionable identification. 

Former District Attorney Paul Smith opposed Lott’s motion, instead offering him a modified sentence, which he accepted. Luckily for Lott, after further review of his case, the Innocence Project newly elected District Attorney Erik Johnson evacuated the case along with his conviction.

Perry Lott
Photo Courtesy: Associated Press. Lott, 61, was wrongly convicted of the felonies in 1988. He was released in 2018 after DNA testing from a rape kit showed he did not commit the crime.

The Innocence Project was critical in aiding Lott achieve his freedom.

Though unable to see his family and friends while imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, the truth prevailed.

A DNA test helped prove the innocence of Perry Lott, leading to his exoneration.

Just last month, Innocence Projects helped Jesse Johnson, a Black man convicted of murder in 1998, become exonerated. Johnson was accused of killing a Black woman in Oregon. Because of Johnson’s attorney not interviewing the only witness at the scene, The Oregon Court Appeals requested a new trial and got his conviction reversed.

Johnson is now a free man.

Leonard Mack, a Black man charged with rape nearly fifty years ago, was freed after DNA test proved his innocence and the suspect, a registered sex offender, admitted to raping the victim. 

Spending the majority of their lives behind bars and secluded from the world, these three men are able to live life again. With help of the Innocence Projects, this is the third time this month a black man has been released from jail, imposing change on society by helping black men get their freedom back.

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