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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 160 exonerees who spent at least 25 years in prison prior to exoneration. 


 Name
 Years Incarcerated
 Sentence
 Released
 State
Richard Phillips
45 years, 2 months
Life without parole2017Michigan
Wilbert Jones
44 years, 9 months
Life2017Louisiana
Charles Finch
42 years, 10 months
Death2019North Carolina
Clifford Williams, Jr.
42 years, 6 months
Death2019Florida
Hubert Myers42 years, 6 months
Life2019Florida
Ledura Watkins41 years, 2 months
Life without parole2017Michigan
David Bryant40 years, 8 months
25 to Life
2017New York
Wiley Bridgeman39 years, 3 months
Death2014Ohio
Ricky Jackson39 years, 3 months
Death2014Ohio
Elmer Daniels38 years, 6 months
Life2018Delaware
Robert Carroll Coney38 years, 4 months
Life2004Texas
Willie Womble38 years, 3 months
80 years2014North Carolina
Walter Lomax38 years, 2 months
Life2006Maryland
Craig Coley37 years, 10 months
Life without parole2017California
Malcolm Alexander37 years, 2 months
Life without parole2018Louisiana
Joseph Sledge36 years, 5 months
Life2015North Carolina
Frederick Clay35 years, 11 months
Life without parole2017Massachusetts
Archie Williams35 years, 11 months
Life without parole2019Louisiana
James Haley35 years, 10 months
Life without parole2008Massachusetts
Fred Weichel35 years, 8 months
Life without parole2017Massachusetts
Samuel Bonner35 years, 8 months
Life without parole2019California
James Bain35 years, 6 months
Life2009Florida
Alfred Chestnut35 years, 5 months
Life2019Maryland
Ransom Watkins35 years, 5 months
Life2019Maryland
Andrew Stewart, Jr.35 years, 5 months
Life2019Maryland
John Floyd35 years, 5 months
Life without parole2017Louisiana
Edward Carter35 years, 3 months
Life2010Michigan
Gary Cifizzari34 years, 11 months
Life without parole2019Massachusetts
Terrance Williams34 years, 11 months
13 1/2 to 27 years2020Pennsylvania
Anthony Massingill34 years, 3 months
Life2014Texas
Michael Hanline34 years, 2 months
Life without parole2014California
Bobby Joe Maxwell34 years
Life without parole2018California
Darrell Siggers34 years
Life without parole2018Michigan
Kash Register34 years
Life without parole2013California
Cathy Woods33 years, 9 months
Life without parole2014Nevada
Lewis Fogle33 years, 5 months
Life without parole2015Pennsylvania
Jack Sagin33 years, 2 months
Life without parole2019California
Marshall Hale32 years, 9 months
23 1/2 to 47 years2017Pennsylvania
Paul Browning32 years, 8 months
Death2019Nevada
Keith Harward32 years, 5 months
Life2016Virginia
Peter Limone32 years, 5 months
Death2001Massachusetts
Danny Burton32 years, 3 months
Life without parole2019Michigan
Keith Bush31 years, 11 months
20 to Life2008New York
James Blackmon31 years, 7 months
Life2019North Carolina
Gary Washington31 years, 6 months
Life2019Maryland
Andre Davis31 years, 5 months
Life2012Illinois
Victor Rosario31 years, 3 months
Life2014Massachusetts
Darrell Jones31 years, 2 months
Life without parole2017Massachusetts
Lawrence McKinney31 years
100 years2009Tennessee
William Vasquez30 years, 8 months
25 to life2012New York
Reginald Adams30 years, 8 months
Life without parole2014Louisiana
Amaury Villalobos30 years, 8 months
25 to life2012New York
Stanley Wrice30 years, 6 months
Life2013Illinois
Joseph Eastridge30 years, 5 months
20 to Life2005District of Columbia
Rickey Dale Wyatt30 years, 5 months
99 years2012Texas
Andrew Wilson30 years, 4 months
Life without parole2017California
Laurence Adams30 years, 1 month
Death2004Massachusetts
Cornelius Dupree, Jr.30 years
75 years2010Texas
Phillip Bivens29 years, 10 months
Life2010Mississippi
Henry McCollum29 years, 10 months
Death2014North Carolina
Leon Brown29 years, 10 months
Death2014North Carolina
Bobby Ray Dixon29 years, 9 months
Life2010Mississippi
Dean McKee29 years, 6 months
Life2018Florida
Johnnie Savory29 years, 5 months
50 to 100 years2006Illinois
Henry James29 years, 5 months
Life without parole2011Louisiana
George Allen, Jr.29 years, 3 months
95 years2012Missouri
Jerome Johnson29 years, 3 months
Life2018Maryland
Glenn Ford29 years, 3 months
Death2014Louisiana
Clifford Jones29 years, 2 months
18 to life2010New York
George Perrot29 years, 1 month
Life2017Massachusetts
Timothy Johnson28 years, 11 months
Life2013Georgia
Gerry Thomas28 years, 11 months
40 to 60 years2020Michigan
Randolph Arledge28 years, 10 months
99 years2013Texas
Hayes Williams28 years, 10 months
Life1997Louisiana
Mark Denny
28 years, 10 months
19 to 57 years2017New York
Michael McAlister28 years, 7 months
35 years2015Virginia
Raymond Towler28 years, 7 months
Life2010Ohio
Anthony Hinton28 years, 6 months
Death2015Alabama
Joseph Salvati28 years, 6 months
Life1997Massachusetts
Robert Nelson28 years, 6 months
70 years2013Missouri
Ralph Armstrong28 years, 4 months
Life2009Wisconsin
Juan Matta Ballesteros28 years, 4 months
Life without parole2018Fed-CA
Christopher Abernathy28 years
Life without parole2015Illinois
David McCallum27 years, 11 months
25 to life2014New York
Steven Chaney27 years, 9 months
Life2015Texas
Steven Crawford27 years, 9 months
Life2002Pennsylvania
Clarence Moses-EL27 years, 8 months
48 years2015Colorado
Demond Weston27 years, 7 months
75 years2019Illinois
James Shortt27 years, 7 months
Life without parole2010California
Arthur Brown27 years, 6 months
Life without parole2017Illinois
Lawrence William Lee, Jr.
27 years, 6 months
Death2015Georgia
James Gibson27 years, 6 months
Life without parole2019Illinois
John Jerome White27 years, 6 months
Life2007Georgia
Bernard Young27 years, 5 months
60 to 100 years2017Michigan
James Curtis Williams27 years, 5 months
Life2011Texas
Louis Greco27 years, 4 months
Death1995Massachusetts
Richard Beranek27 years, 4 months
243 years2017Wisconsin
Johnny Small27 years, 4 months
Life2016North Carolina
Kwame Ajamu
27 years, 4 months
Death2003Ohio
Larry Gillard27 years, 3 months
24 years2009Illinois
Cleveland Wright27 years, 3 months
20 to Life2007District of Columbia
Kevin Bailey27 years, 3 months
80 years2018Illinois
Frank O'Connell27 years, 3 months
25 to Life2012California
Donald Eugene Gates27 years, 2 months
20 to Life2009District of Columbia
William Virgil27 years, 2 months
70 years2015Kentucky
Michael Anthony Green27 years, 1 month
75 years2010Texas
William Dillon26 years, 11 months
Life2008Florida
Charles Jackson26 years, 11 months
30 to life2018Ohio
James Lee Woodard26 years, 11 months
Life2008Texas
Michael Evans26 years, 11 months
Life2003Illinois
Gregory Bright26 years, 10 months
Life2003Louisiana
Jules Letemps26 years, 10 months
Life2016Florida
Edward McInnis26 years, 10 months
Life2015North Carolina
Earl Truvia26 years, 10 months
Life2003Louisiana
Felipe Rodriguez26 years, 8 months
25 to life2017New York
Thomas Haynesworth26 years, 8 months
74 years2011Virginia
Michael Austin26 years, 7 months
Life2001Maryland
Willie Veasy26 years, 7 months
Life without parole2019Pennsylvania
Johnny Pinchback26 years, 7 months
Life2011Texas
Clarence Shipley
26 years, 6 months
Life2018Maryland
Theophalis Wilson26 years, 5 months
Life without parole2020Pennsylvania
Raymond Jackson26 years, 5 months
Life2010Texas
Charles Chatman26 years, 4 months
Life2008Texas
Christopher Williams26 years, 4 months
Death2019Pennsylvania
Gary Lamar James26 years, 4 months
Death2003Ohio
Shabaka Shakur26 years, 3 months
20 to life2015New York
Valentino Dixon
26 years, 3 months
38 1/3 to life2018New York
Johnny Tall Bear26 years, 3 months
Life without parole2018Oklahoma
David Lee Gavitt26 years, 2 months
Life without parole2012Michigan
Chester Hollman III26 years, 2 months
Life without parole2019Pennsylvania
Jimmie Gardner26 years, 2 months
33 to life2016West Virginia
Adam Miranda26 years, 1 month
Life2009California
Paul Terry26 years
Life2003Illinois
Timothy Howard26 years
Death2003Ohio
Dewey Bozella25 years, 10 months
20 to Life2009New York
Mark Schand25 years, 10 months
Life without parole2013Massachusetts
Robert Hill25 years, 10 months
18 to life2014New York
Alton Logan25 years, 9 months
Life2008Illinois
Michael Sullivan25 years, 9 months
Life without parole2013Massachusetts
Timmy Duke
25 years, 8 months
25 years2018Texas
Walter Swift
25 years, 6 months
30 to 55 years2008Michigan
Billy Frederick Allen25 years, 6 months
99 years2009Texas
Larry Hudson25 years, 5 months
Death1993Louisiana
Gregory Counts25 years, 4 months
16 to 48 years2017New York
Curtis McGhee25 years, 4 months
Life2003Iowa
Delmar Partin25 years, 3 months
Life2019Kentucky
John Duval
25 years, 3 months
25 to Life1999New York
Luis Diaz
25 years, 2 months
Life2005Florida
Johnnie Lindsey25 years, 2 months
Life2008Texas
Edward Baker25 years, 2 months
Life1999Pennsylvania
Hicks Elliff25 years, 2 months
55 years2007Texas
Daniel Andersen25 years, 1 month
55 years2007Illinois
Anthony Caravella25 years, 1 month
Life2009Florida
Mark Jones25 years, 1 month
Life2017
Georgia
Kenneth Gardiner25 years, 1 month
Life2017Georgia
Dominic Lucci25 years, 1 month
Life2017Georgia
Ramon Ward25 years
Life without parole2020Michigan
Kevin Martin25 years
15 to Life2009District of Columbia
Rickey Johnson25 years
Life without parole2008Louisiana
Derrick Sanders25 years
21 to life2018Wisconsin

TOTAL: 160