Even though James Curtis Williams and Raymond Jackson were exonerated of their Nov. 1983 life sentences for assault, they were never pardoned for the other sexual assault case they plead guilty of. After being convicted of these life sentences, they both pleaded guilty to another sexual assault case to shorten that sentence. They likely did this because they were so overwhelmed by the life sentence that they might as well have plead guilty to something else. Whether they did it or not, it was easier for them to simply submit. (Note: taking a plea deal to avoid the death penalty and life sentences is very common within the justice system.)
However, Williams and Jackson still have to register as sex offenders for pleading guilty to the latter assault charge. Sadly, the amount of time and probable lack of evidence existing may not merit a pardoning of it. The larger news at this moment is that they escaped a life sentence. If no attempt to pardon them is moved forward, the men will live the rest of their lives as registered sex offenders. The circumstances of them pleading guilty shed reasonable doubt upon their actual guilt. The decision of whether to reenter court must be weighed out by the men. If they decide not to, their years in prison will carry through their lives with this label.
In an Ohio case, Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates said the recently tested DNA is not exactly pertinent to the exoneration of Danny Brown because the victim, Bobbie Russell, was attacked with a blunt instrument. She says it does not exonerate him as a suspect, but of course it exonerates him as guilty. Since Brown has already served out his 15 year sentence, the exoneration of the crime seems superficially pointless. But consider that not only does Brown still have this crime on his record, the person the DNA pointed to, Sherman Preston, will be able to get out of prison in 2020 once his other sentence serves out. Justice will not be served to him yet somehow satisfied in the wasted years of Brown in prison.
The chief support Bates relies upon in not wanting to exonerate Brown is the testimony given from the then seven year-old son of Russell. The supposed eye witness account of a seven year-old that clearly had to have been under stress at the time is a text-book example of witness misidentification. Rather than consider that the DNA evidence is dually supported by the lie detector test that Brown passed in 2001, Bates considers good science irrelevant and bad evidence legitimate.
While the specifics of the DNA evidence may decide its pertinence, time should be given to decide if Brown should have this over his documented head. But due to the idea of infallible justice system, it does not come to a surprise that Bates leans upon an already decided case.