On July 30, 2002, Larry Johnson got what he had been seeking for 18 long years. In 1984, he had been convicted of rape and kidnapping by a very aggressive prosecutor, after having been identified by the victim from a photo array and eventually from a lineup. This in spite of the fact that the victim had described her attacker as a clean-shaven man, and Larry sported a moustache. DNA testing was in its infancy at the time and was not allowed to be used by the defense in the trial. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 15 years. But Larry continued to maintain his innocence.
In 1995, he contacted the Innocence Project for help in gaining access to the biological evidence for DNA testing. They attempted to assist him but were blocked on numerous tries by the prosecutor’s office and the circuit attorney. Finally the Missouri Supreme Court adopted a rule in September 2001 allowing for motions seeking post-conviction DNA testing. This forced the Circuit Attorney’s office to make the biological evidence available to the state crime lab, and DNA testing in July 2002 showed that Larry Johnson was not the perpetrator of the crime. He had been wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years, but the truth could not be hidden forever. The truth came out, and Larry Johnson was released from prison. As John 8:31 states, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”