After Witness Recants, Inmate Goes Free After 25 Years
Los Angeles man says he's happy, not bitter
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 1:32 PM CDT
Willie Earl Green smiles while talking to reporters outside a courthouse in Los Angeles Thursday, March 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

(Newser) – A man locked up 25 years for a murder he says he did not commit walked free from a Los Angeles prison yesterday after the sole witness recanted. "I'm not bitter," said Willie Earl Green, now 56. "I'm happy today." Among those to greet him were his wife, whom he met six years after his conviction, and the forewoman of the jury that convicted him.

With his newfound freedom, Green marveled at cell phones, remote car openers, and his first cup of Starbucks coffee. "It's time to start living,” said his wife. Green said he worked in the prison library and earned his associate's degree while incarcerated. "It's like I'm in a dream," he said. "The system that put me in here was the same system that got me out.”