Man wrongly convicted of Inglewood murder freed after 38 years by DNA evidence
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JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. — After nearly a half century of serving life without parole, James P. Wilson was granted parole Thursday night by Governor Mike Pence, who commuted his sentence for a crime he said was “a miscarriage of justice.”
At age 33, Wilson remains behind bars due to a conviction for the 1981 murder of 19-year-old Lisa Ann Inglewood. In 1987, Wilson was convicted of a second murder in the same case for which he was acquitted of the first.
He is free to be with his family. The parole board recommended he be paroled when he was 54, as recommended in Indiana law.
Wilson served eight years of a life sentence before being convicted in Inglewood in 1987. He was found guilty of murdering Inglewood, also known as Lisa Ann, and a second woman.
He was exonerated of both charges in 1992.
“I have forgiven Mr. Wilson, I have forgiven the state, I have forgiven the prosecutors, and I have forgiven the police,” Pence said. “And I would not change any of those things. I’d rather have the man who was convicted of a crime go out and do good for society than to have a man go out who is a danger to society for the rest of his life.”
Pence commuted Wilson’s sentence in part to make him eligible for parole.
“I was looking at a life sentence for him in prison,” Pence said. “I was looking at him being in maximum security and for him to go out on the street, it would have just taken the life of one of the most wonderful women that I have ever met.”
But the release of Wilson was not without controversy.
Two weeks ago, the board granted Wilson parole, but the governor overturned it based on concerns over