Archie Charles Williams is an American singer who was wrongfully incarcerated for 37 years in prison and released on 21 March 2019.
Williams is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the United States. On 21 April 1982, he was convicted in a case of rape and attempted murder of a 30-year-old white woman at her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1982, even though his fingerprints were not found at the scene.
Williams was 22 at the time and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
Three people also testified that Williams was at home at the time of the crime, however the following year he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Williams has always maintained his innocence.
After spending more than 10 years in maximum security prison Louisiana State Penitentiary, the Innocence Project took up his case.
The non-profit legal organisation works to overturn wrongful convictions through the use of DNA testing.
After campaigning for 24 years, a new analysis of fingerprints at the scene identified a serial rapist as the man responsible for the crime – proving Williams’s innocence.
Just seven days later, all charges against Williams were dismissed and his convictions were quashed, and he was released from jail in March 2019.
Williams sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John for his first performance in Season 15 of America’s Got Talent on May 26, 2020. All four judges voted for him to move to the next level and he received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges. John said that he was “moved to tears” by the performance. As a result of Williams’ story, Simon Cowell became an ambassador for The Innocence Project. Williams sang “Flying Without Wings” by Westlife during the semi-finals. He moved ahead to the finals with four other acts. Archie finished as a Bottom 5 finalist of the top 10.