Innocent Man Exonerated After 38 Years Goes Home With Dog He Raised In Prison

Can you imagine being imprisoned for nearly 40 years for a crime you didn’t commit?

That’s exactly what happened to Malcolm Alexander, a Louisiana man who was given a life sentence for rape when he was 21 years old in 1980.

According to Today, Alexander was assisted by The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that helps wrongfully accused prisoners prove their innocence. With the help of DNA evidence, the now-58-year-old was finally found not guilty after four long decades behind bars.

While he was incarcerated, Alexander got involved in a program that enables prisoners to raise puppies. Now a free man, he was able to take his beloved dog, named Innocent or Inn for short, home with him.

“I named her Inn because I was innocent and she was innocent,” he told CBS New York.

Along with her loving human, 9-month-old Innocent is thrilled to explore life outside of the prison walls. And unsurprisingly, Alexander is enjoying it with her.

(Fast forward to the 2 minute mark to see Inn join her favorite human in freedom!)

According to the article, they’re living with his son’s family until he can get back on his feet. When Alexander was imprisoned, his boy was just 2 years old; now, he’s 40.

Vanessa Potkin, who’s with the Innocence Project, explained to Today that Alexander may get compensation for the years of his life that were lost.

“Under Louisiana’s compensation law, Malcolm Alexander could receive only $250,000, plus funding for job training and education, for his 38 years of wrongful imprisonment,” she said. “And the state could oppose his compensation application — which often happens even in the face of evidence of factual innocence — so this amount is not even guaranteed. It could take years for his claim to go through.”

Still, Alexander hopes to make a living by using the carpentry, woodworking, and jewelry-making skills he learned while he was incarcerated.

You’d think that after this unimaginable ordeal, he’d be full of anger and resentment. Instead, Alexander’s focus is to “enjoy what life we have left.”

“Let what happened be gone, and let’s move on. Simple,” he said in Today. “I’m surrounded by love.”

This man’s perspective is truly inspiring, and his “live-in-the-moment” optimism is similar to that of one of the world’s best creatures – a dog.

“To have a dog is a privilege,” Alexander said. “It makes the world different.”

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help Malcolm Alexander and Innocent get back on their feet (and paws!). If you’d like to help, click here. You can also donate to the Innocence Project to help support efforts in exonerating innocent people behind bars.

We wish the best for these two and hope that they continue to find love, friendship, and support in each other!

(h/t: Today)

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