Source AP ©

Innocent prisoner discusses shortcomings in criminal justice system

Police released a man who spent a dozen years in prison for a rape he did not commit. He went straight for City Hall to discuss shortcomings in the criminal justice system with local officials.

Ronald Taylor greeted his family with warm embraces outside the Harris County Jail.

"It hasn't really sunk in. I'm just glad to see my family," said Taylor, speaking softly.

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal made a rare courtroom appearance to apologize to Taylor, who was convicted in 1995 of raping a woman two years earlier.

Taylor, 47, was convicted and sentenced to 60 years after the victim picked him out of a lineup. She said, however, she had caught only a glimpse of her attacker's face.

At the trial, an analyst with the Houston police crime lab testified that she had tested the bed sheet and found no semen. This summer, a private lab in New Orleans retested the sheet and found semen that was matched to Roosevelt Carroll, currently in prison for failing to register as a sex offender. He will not be prosecuted in this case because the statute of limitations has expired.

The Innocence Project, which seeks to free the wrongly convicted, paid for the retesting.

Taylor is the third Texas prison inmate to be released because of problems with the Houston crime lab.

Taylor and his mother, Dorothy Henderson, said they did not blame the criminal justice system for his imprisonment.

"I don't hold any grudges because I believe in God and I knew he would be free," Henderson said.

Taylor's plans include moving to Atlanta to marry Jeannette Brown, the fiancee who has waited for him since the mid-1990s.

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