Before the days of DNA testing, crime conviction and subsequent sentencing relied heavily on word-of-mouth and eye-witness testimony. While those elements of trial cases are still important, DNA evidence reigns supreme since the margin of error is so much smaller in the case of DNA matches than it is with potentially biased testimony from a third party or even a traumatized victim.
That’s why the Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck. According to their site, the Innocent Project “exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”
Over the years, lawyers from the Innocence Project have tried appeals to exonerate wrongly imprisoned people for crimes. One such innocent victim of pre-DNA criminal justice is a man named Malcolm Alexander.
The 58-year-old man spent 38 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. While he was wrongfully imprisoned, he bonded with a puppy that was born at the jail. To pass the time, he and his newfound friend who he later named Inn (short for Innocence) went through a lot of training lessons. Over time, they developed an amazing bond — a bond that helped him cope with his tragic imprisonment.
Thankfully, he was exonerated in January of this year and released from jail. One thing that made his freedom so much sweeter was his reunion with Inn, which was caught on camera.
“To have a dog is a privilege,” Malcolm told TODAY. “It makes the world different.” Check out their amazing meeting in the video below!