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Longest Incarcerations

While the average time spent in prison for all of the exonerees in the National Registry of Exonerations is just under nine years, there have been some prisoners who spent an extraordinary amount of time imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The Registry calculates prison time from the date of conviction. Therefore, our calculations exclude time spent incarcerated prior to conviction. The following is a list of the 168 exonerees who spent at least 25 years in prison prior to exoneration. 


 Name
Time Incarcerated
 Sentence
Incarcerated
 State
Richard Phillips
45 years, 2 months, 9 days
Life w/o parole1972–2017
Michigan
Wilbert Jones
44 years, 9 months, 9 days
Life1973–2017
Louisiana
Ronnie Long
​43 years, 10 months, 27 days
​Life
​1976-2020
​North Carolina
Charles Finch
42 years, 10 months, 22 days
Death1976–2019North Carolina
Hubert Myers
42 years, 6 months, 26 days​
Life​1976–2019​
​Florida
Clifford Williams, Jr.
42 years, 6 months, 26 days
Death1976–2019Florida
Ledura Watkins41 years, 2 months, 30 days
Life w/o parole1976–2017Michigan
David Bryant40 years, 8 months, 21 days
25 to Life
1976–2017New York
Raymond Champagne
​40 years, 5 months, 25 days
​Life w/o Parole
​1979–2020
​Massachusetts
Wiley Bridgeman
39 years, 3 months, 9 days
Death1975–2014Ohio
Ricky Jackson39 years, 3 months, 8 days
Death1975–2014Ohio
Elmer Daniels38 years, 6 months, 21 days
Life1980–2018Delaware
Robert Carroll Coney38 years, 4 months, 22 days
Life1966–2004Texas
Willie Womble38 years, 3 months, 10 days
80 years1976–2014North Carolina
Walter Lomax38 years, 2 months, 24 days
Life1968–2006Maryland
Craig Coley37 years, 10 months, 19 days
Life w/o parole1980–2017California
Malcolm Alexander37 years, 2 months, 25 days
Life w/o parole1980–2018Louisiana
Joseph Sledge36 years, 5 months, 2 days
Life1978–2015North Carolina
Frederick Clay35 years, 11 months, 20 days
Life w/o parole1981–2017Massachusetts
Archie Williams35 years, 11 months
Life w/o parole1983–2019
Louisiana
James Haley35 years, 10 months, 15 days
Life w/o parole1974–2008Massachusetts
Fred Weichel35 years, 8 months, 7 days
Life w/o parole1981–2017Massachusetts
Samuel Bonner35 years, 8 months, 4 days
Life w/o parole1983–2019California
James Bain35 years, 6 months, 24 days
Life1974–2009Florida
Alfred Chestnut35 years, 5 months, 28 days
Life1984–2019Maryland
​Andrew Stewart, Jr.
​35 years, 5 months, 28 days
Life
​1984-2019
​Maryland
Ransom Watkins
35 years, 5 months, 28 days
Life1984–2019Maryland
​Robert DuBoise
​35 years, 5 months, 20 days
​Death
​1985- 2020
​Florida
John Floyd35 years, 5 months, 16 days
Life w/o parole1982–2017Louisiana
​Jackie Wilson
​35 years, 4 months, 19 days
​Life w/o parole
​1983-2020
​Illinois
Edward Carter35 years, 3 months, 11 days
Life1975–2010Michigan
Gary Cifizzari34 years, 11 months, 12 days
Life w/o parole1984–2019Massachusetts
Terrance Williams34 years, 11 months, 4 days
13 1/2 to 27 years1985–2020Pennsylvania
Anthony Massingill34 years, 3 months, 22 days
Life1980–2014Texas
Michael Hanline34 years, 2 months
Life w/o parole1980–2014California
Bobby Joe Maxwell34 years, 29 days
Life w/o parole1984–2018California
Darrell Siggers34 years, 11 days
Life w/o parole1984–2018
Michigan
Kash Register34 years, 8 days
Life w/o parole1979–2013California
Cathy Woods33 years, 9 months
Life w/o parole1980–2014Nevada
Lewis Fogle33 years, 5 months, 18 days
Life w/o parole1982–2015Pennsylvania
Jack Sagin33 years, 2 months, 24 days
Life w/o parole1986–2019California
Marshall Hale32 years, 9 months, 17 days
23 1/2 to 47 years1984–2017Pennsylvania
Paul Browning32 years, 8 months, 9 days
Death1986–2019Nevada
Keith Harward32 years, 5 months, 13 days
Life1983–2016Virginia
Peter Limone32 years, 5 months, 5 days
Death1968–2001Massachusetts
Danny Burton32 years, 3 months, 5 days
Life w/o parole1987–2019Michigan
Keith Bush31 years, 11 months, 13 days
20 to Life1983–2008
New York
James Blackmon31 years, 7 months, 8 days
Life1988–2019North Carolina
Gary Washington31 years, 6 months, 30 days
Life1987–2019Maryland
Andre Davis31 years, 5 months, 15 days
Life1981–2012Illinois
Victor Rosario
31 years, 3 months, 12 days
Life1983–2014Massachusetts
Andrew Swainson
​31 years, 2 months, 28 days
​Life w/o parole
​1989–2020
​Pennsylvania
Darrell Jones
31 years, 2 months, 19 days
Life w/o parole1986–2017Massachusetts
Lawrence McKinney31 years, 25 days
100 years1978–2009Tennessee
William Vasquez
30 years, 8 months, 29 days
25 to life1981–2012New York
Amaury Villalobos
​30 years, 8 months, 28 days
​25 to life
​1981–2012
​New York
​Reginald Adams
​30 years, 8 months, 27 days
​Life w/o parole
​1983-2014
​Louisiana
​Antonio Martinez
​30 years, 6 months, 21 days
​Life
​1990 - 2020
​Pennsylvania 
Stanley Wrice30 years, 6 months, 20 days
Life1983–2013Illinois
Joseph Eastridge30 years, 5 months, 24 days
20 to Life1975–2005District of Columbia
Rickey Dale Wyatt30 years, 5 months, 4 days
99 years1981–2012Texas
Andrew Wilson30 years, 4 months, 3 days
Life w/o parole1986–2017California
Robert Smith
​30 years, 1 month, 24 days
​Life w/o parole
​1990-2020
​Illinois
Laurence Adams30 years, 1 month, 5 days
Death1974–2004Massachusetts
Ralph Birch
​30 years, 20 days
​55 years
​1989–2019
​Connecticut
Cornelius Dupree, Jr.30 years, 20 days
75 years1980–2010Texas
Phillip Bivens29 years, 10 months, 12 days
Life1980–2010Mississippi
Leon Brown
29 years, 10 months, 8 days
Death1984–2014North Carolina
Henry McCollum
29 years, 10 months, 8 days
Death1984–2014
North Carolina
Bobby Ray Dixon
29 years, 9 months, 29 days
Life1980–2010Mississippi
Dean McKee29 years, 6 months, 23 days
Life1988–2018Florida
Johnnie Savory29 years, 5 months, 18 days
50 to 100 years1977–2006Illinois
Henry James29 years, 5 months, 13 days
Life w/o parole1982–2011Louisiana
George Allen, Jr.29 years, 3 months, 20 days
95 years1983–2012Missouri
Jerome Johnson29 years, 3 months, 18 days
Life1989–2018Maryland
Glenn Ford29 years, 3 months, 6 days
Death1984–2014Louisiana
​Shawn Henning
​29 years, 2 months, 26 days
​50 years
​1989–2018
​Connecticut
Clifford Jones
29 years, 2 months
18 to life1981–2010New York
George Perrot29 years, 1 month, 27 days
Life1987–2017Massachusetts
Timothy Johnson28 years, 11 months, 24 days
Life1984–2013Georgia
Gerry Thomas28 years, 11 months, 19 days
40 to 60 years1991–2020Michigan
Randolph Arledge28 years, 10 months, 15 days
99 years1984–2013Texas
Hayes Williams28 years, 10 months, 15 days
Life1968–1997Louisiana
Mark Denny
28 years, 10 months, 9 days
19 to 57 years1989–2017New York
Michael McAlister28 years, 7 months, 19 days
35 years1986–2015Virginia
Raymond Towler28 years, 7 months, 17 days
Life1981–2010Ohio
Anthony Hinton28 years, 6 months, 16 days
Death1986–2015Alabama
Joseph Salvati28 years, 6 months, 5 days
Life1968–1997Massachusetts
Robert Nelson28 years, 6 months, 1 day
70 years1984–2013Missouri
Ralph Armstrong28 years, 4 months, 26 days
Life1981–2009Wisconsin
Juan Matta Ballesteros28 years, 4 months, 11 days
Life w/o parole1990–2018Fed-CA
Christopher Abernathy28 years, 27 days
Life w/o parole1987–2015Illinois
David McCallum27 years, 11 months, 18 days
25 to life1986–2014New York
Steven Chaney27 years, 9 months, 28 days
Life1987–2015Texas
Steven Crawford27 years, 9 months, 28 days
Life1974–2002Pennsylvania
Clarence Moses-EL27 years, 8 months, 15 days
48 years1988–2015Colorado
Demond Weston27 years, 7 months, 27 days
75 years1992–2019Illinois
James Shortt27 years, 7 months, 2 days
Life w/o parole1982–2010California
Arthur Brown27 years, 6 months, 22 days
Life w/o parole1990–2017Illinois
Lawrence William Lee, Jr.
27 years, 6 months, 15 days
Death1987–2015Georgia
James Gibson27 years, 6 months, 10 days
Life w/o parole1991–2019Illinois
John Jerome White27 years, 6 months, 7 days
Life1980–2007Georgia
Bernard Young27 years, 5 months, 25 days
60 to 100 years1989–2017Michigan
​Gerard Domond
​27 years, 5 months, 10 days
​25 to life
​1989-2016
​New York
James Curtis Williams27 years, 5 months, 4 days
Life1984–2011Texas
Louis Greco27 years, 4 months, 30 days
Death1968–1995Massachusetts
Richard Beranek27 years, 4 months, 14 days
243 years1990–2017Wisconsin
Johnny Small27 years, 4 months, 4 days
Life1989–2016North Carolina
Kwame Ajamu
27 years, 4 months
Death1975–2003Ohio
Larry Gillard27 years, 3 months, 24 days
24 years1982–2009Illinois
Cleveland Wright27 years, 3 months, 14 days
20 to Life1979–2007District of Columbia
Kevin Bailey27 years, 3 months, 12 days
80 years1990–2018Illinois
Frank O'Connell27 years, 3 months, 6 days
25 to Life1985–2012California
Donald Eugene Gates27 years, 2 months, 29 days
20 to Life1982–2009District of Columbia
William Virgil27 years, 2 months, 3 days
70 years1988–2015Kentucky
Michael Anthony Green27 years, 1 month
75 years1983–2010Texas
William Dillon26 years, 11 months, 14 days
Life1981–2008Florida
Charles Jackson26 years, 11 months, 11 days
30 to life1991–2018Ohio
James Lee Woodard26 years, 11 months, 9 days
Life1981–2008Texas
Michael Evans26 years, 11 months, 6 days
Life1976–2003Illinois
Gregory Bright26 years, 10 months, 25 days
Life1976–2003Louisiana
Jules Letemps26 years, 10 months, 20 days
Life1989–2016Florida
Edward McInnis26 years, 10 months, 16 days
Life1988–2015North Carolina
Earl Truvia26 years, 10 months, 4 days
Life1976–2003Louisiana
Felipe Rodriguez26 years, 8 months, 24 days
25 to life1990–2017New York
Thomas Haynesworth26 years, 8 months, 3 days
74 years1984–2011Virginia
Michael Austin26 years, 7 months, 23 days
Life1975–2001Maryland
Willie Veasy26 years, 7 months, 20 days
Life w/o parole1993–2019Pennsylvania
Johnny Pinchback26 years, 7 months, 7 days
Life1984–2011Texas
Clarence Shipley
26 years, 6 months, 6 days
Life1992–2018Maryland
Theophalis Wilson26 years, 5 months, 15 days
Life w/o parole1993–2020Pennsylvania
Raymond Jackson26 years, 5 months, 4 days
Life1984–2010Texas
Ersan Yurtman
​26 years, 4 months, 23 days
​30 years
​1994–2020
​Texas
Charles Chatman
26 years, 4 months, 22 days
Life1981–2008Texas
Christopher Williams26 years, 4 months, 12 days
Death1993–2019Pennsylvania
Gary Lamar James26 years, 4 months, 5 days
Death1977–2003Ohio
Shabaka Shakur26 years, 3 months, 20 days
20 to life1989–2015New York
Valentino Dixon
26 years, 3 months, 7 days
38 1/3 to life1992–2018New York
Johnny Tall Bear26 years, 3 months
Life w/o parole1992–2018Oklahoma
David Lee Gavitt26 years, 2 months, 22 days
Life w/o parole1986–2012Michigan
Chester Hollman III26 years, 2 months, 11 days
Life w/o parole1993–2019Pennsylvania
Tina Jimerson
​26 years, 2 months, 8 days
​Life
​1992-2020
​Arkansas 
Jimmie Gardner26 years, 2 months
33 to life1990–2016West Virginia
Adam Miranda26 years, 1 month, 15 days
Life1983–2009California
​John Brown, Jr. 
​26 years, 1 month, 1 day
​Life
​1992-2020
​Arkansas 
Paul Terry26 years, 26 days
Life1977–2003Illinois
Timothy Howard26 years, 14 days
Death1977–2003Ohio
Ronnie Qualls
​25 years, 10 months, 28 days
​Life
​1993-2020
​Massachusetts
Dewey Bozella25 years, 10 months, 20 days
20 to Life1983–2009New York
Mark Schand25 years, 10 months, 14 days
Life w/o parole1987–2013Massachusetts
Robert Hill25 years, 10 months
18 to life1988–2014New York
Alton Logan25 years, 9 months, 19 days
Life1982–2008Illinois
Michael Sullivan25 years, 9 months, 15 days
Life w/o parole1987–2013Massachusetts
Timmy Duke
25 years, 8 months, 22 days
25 years1992–2018Texas
Keith Walker
​25 years, 8 months, 6 days
​Life w/o parole
​1994–2020
​Illinois
Walter Swift
25 years, 6 months, 11 days
30 to 55 years1982–2008Michigan
Billy Frederick Allen25 years, 6 months, 1 day
99 years1983–2009Texas
Larry Hudson25 years, 5 months, 23 days
Death1967–1993Louisiana
Gregory Counts25 years, 4 months, 29 days
16 to 48 years1992–2017New York
Curtis McGhee25 years, 4 months, 21 days
Life1978–2003Iowa
John Duval
​25 years, 3 months, 16 days
​25 to Life
​1973–1999
​New York
Delmar Partin
25 years, 3 months, 15 days
Life1994–2019Kentucky
Luis Diaz
25 years, 2 months, 21 days
Life1980–2005Florida
Johnnie Lindsey25 years, 2 months, 20 days
Life1983–2008Texas
Edward Baker25 years, 2 months, 17 days
Life1974–1999Pennsylvania
Hicks Elliff25 years, 2 months, 12 days
55 years1982–2007Texas
Daniel Andersen25 years, 1 month, 16 days
55 years1982–2007Illinois
Anthony Caravella25 years, 1 month, 7 days
Life1984–2009Florida
Kenneth Gardiner25 years, 1 month, 1 day
Life1992–2017Georgia
Mark Jones
​25 years, 1 month, 1 day
​Life
​1992–2017
​Georgia
Dominic Lucci
25 years, 1 month, 1 day
Life1992–2017Georgia
Ramon Ward25 years, 25 days
Life w/o parole1995–2020Michigan
Kevin Martin25 years, 20 days
15 to Life1984–2009District of Columbia
Rickey Johnson25 years, 7 days
Life w/o parole1983–2008Louisiana
Derrick Sanders25 years, 6 days
21 to life1993–2018Wisconsin


TOTAL: 168