Wednesday, April 11, 2007
One man's name cleared; another waits
James Giles spent 10 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. This week, he became the 13th man in Dallas County, Texas, to be exonerated by DNA testing since 2001.

Not too long ago, CNN Correspondent Gary Tuchman and I went down to Dallas to meet the 12th man: James Waller.

It took a jury just 46 minutes to convict Waller of raping a 12-year-old boy in 1982. He spent more than a decade in prison. After making parole, Waller was forced to register as a sex offender.

In an effort to clear his name, Waller contacted The Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic. The organization used DNA testing to prove Waller could not have committed the crime.

On January 17, James Waller stood in court and heard the Dallas County District Attorney and a judge acknowledge his innocence and apologize for the years the justice system had taken from him.

The next step for Waller was to completely clear his name. That took a pardon by the governor. It finally happened one month ago, after a seven week wait.

During those seven weeks, many observers questioned why Texas Governor Rick Perry didn't act sooner. We'll be watching to see how long it takes the governor to officially clear James Giles' name.
Posted By Lisa Ort, CNN Producer: 2:05 PM ET
  10 Comments
And we talk about all the red tape our injured soldiers and veterans have to go through to get the benefits they were promised, sounds like James has experienced similar red tape with the governor's office. It's bad enough he had to spend 10 years in prison but 7 weeks for a pardon? Unbelievable.
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 6:32 PM ET
Let's hope the Governor clears Mr. Giles name quickly. The sad fact is that no one will ever be able to wave a magic wand and give Mr. Giles his lost years back. However, I hope his new future will be one that will bring him the contentment and happiness we all hope for. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 7:36 PM ET
It amazes me that people "questioned why Texas Governor Rick Perry didn't act sooner." Well, people may not realize this but the Governor is RUNNING A STATE! There are so many issues going on at once that, unless someone put the file directly into his hands, it was arranged in a time and priority order. He didn't make the decision on it's priority, an assistant/aide probably did. It's time America started using their heads again and apply that thing called common sense.
Posted By Anonymous Jenna, VA Beach, VA : 10:22 PM ET
I wish you would play up the story of James Giles whose trial was rushed through and spent 10 years in prison for allegedly raping a 12 year old white boy. DNA test found him innocent. This kind of thing has been happening to Blacks for centuries in this country.
Posted By Anonymous Audrey Phila. PA : 10:33 PM ET
I hate what happened to these young men and I hope they move on with their lives. And it is sad to say but if that had've been a group of black men accused of raping or molesting a white woman sexually in that environment. We all would've thought they did it.
Posted By Anonymous Holly ..Lagrange, Ga : 10:34 PM ET
Prosecutors were real quick to blame this poor man with bad luck. Why can't he be pardoned quicker. Is the Governor too busy to get to this issue. He sure likes to attend parties a lot here in Texas. He's always on the news attending this and that for others well being, but what about this innocent man that paid a very large part of his life for that he will never get back.
Posted By Anonymous Mary Velasquez, San Marcos, Texas : 11:00 PM ET
Since everyone has been so quick to point out so-called double standards, please allow me, as an African American male to point out one. It amazes me to read so many are using the Duke case to discredit a movement by minorities to right an obvious wrong in relation to Imus. It seems to me that the reason there is a racial divide in this country is because there are many individuals that are only outraged when White Americans are the victims of injustice. Why aren�t these same individuals outraged at the amount of Black males in Texas that have been exonerated (within the past year) through DNA for crimes that they did not commit but spent YEARS in prison for? I have no issue stating that it was wrong to accuse these young men of crimes they did not commit. Now, I wonder how many of those individuals that keep pointing �double-standards� within the African American community are willing to admit that this type of injustice is all too common for minorities.
Posted By Anonymous Langston, Dallas, TX : 11:54 PM ET
I personally think that the States that wrongfully covict people for crimes they are found inocent of after years in prison, should be "Compisated" for the Years of life and freedom wrongfully taken from them.
They should get more than an articulated "oops" and "I'm sorry", they should be given a financial compensation no less than $1,000,000.00 per year they spent in prison wrongfully.
Posted By Anonymous Steven H. , San Jose, California : 12:18 AM ET
You have got to be kidding me... there are absolutely no comments here?! None?!

We, the PEOPLE, have encarcerated an innocent man for raping a boy, for 10 years... 10 years and not a one of you has made any comments?! That truly makes me sick. And now the Governor is waiting to Pardon him?! For what?! An engraved invitation?! Well no wonder a judge convicted me on drunk in public charges with absolutely no evidence even when I asked the officer to test me[no evidence as in zero, 0]; none of you cares... Why on earth should any judge?! It's not like YOU, the people, are going to slap him for it.
Disgusting.
Posted By Anonymous James Foley Kamiah, Idaho : 2:08 AM ET
Funny how there are no comments about yet another wrongly accused black man being exonerated by DNA but your viewers blow up the CNN emails regarding the rich white kids getting exonerated.

White boys don't rape black women right?? It's always the black men raping white women so that must be why this is not worthy of anyone's comments.

It's all about what the predominantly white media considers news that will put the great racial divide deeper and deeper into the world.

Again, it's the majority of the white race that will never allow racial harmony in this country.
Posted By Anonymous C. McKinney Columbus, OH : 5:13 AM ET
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