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An Exoneree Shares His Story Of Wrongful Imprisonment In ‘Ghost Of The Innocent Man’

Courtesy of Benjamin Rachlin

In 1987 Willie Grimes was wrongfully accused of raping a 69-year-old widow in Hickory, North Carolina. Despite little evidence against him, Grimes was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life plus nine years in prison.

Grimes spent 24 years behind bars before he was exonerated with the help of the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission in 2012. The new book “Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption” (Little, Brown and Company/2017) chronicles Grimes’ false conviction and his experience fighting for his innocence.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Grimes and Benjamin Rachlin, author of the book, about Grimes’ story and the prevalence of wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system. Rachlin speaks Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Duke University Law School and at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham and Thursday, Sept. 14 at Kenan Hall at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.