Henry W. James, Jr. of Westwego was released from Angola state prison today after serving 30 years for rape. [caption id="attachment_2592" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo Courtesy of NOLA.com[/caption] Mr. James was convicted and sentenced to life without parole after an incident that occurred in 1982. His release was allowed after the Innocence Project of New Orleans helped to have DNA evidence introduced which ultimately proved his innocence. While Mr. James' false incarceration is a distinct tragedy, the Innocence Project's success in exonerating 12 individuals through DNA evidence since 1999 is a testament to the organization's dedication to the pursuit of justice. Mr. James' case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of access to competent criminal defense representation in our justice system. This case is also a testament to the poor state of affairs in evidence rooms across the country which are chronically underfunded and understaffed. Mr. James may be eligible for up to $250,000 from the state for his time served although he is required to submit an application and is not guaranteed to receive the funds. If you or anyone you know are facing criminal charges in the New Orleans area, it is absolutely critical to seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Contact Bloom Legal 24/7 at 504-599-9997 or at https://www.bloomlegal.com for a case evaluation.