This is the first-ever personal account of a wrongful conviction overturned by DNA evidence. ""With God as my witness, I have been falsely accused of these crimes. I did not commit them. I'm an innocent man."" In 1983 Calvin C. Johnson Jr. spoke these words to a judge who later handed down a life sentence for rape and related crimes. Johnson spent sixteen years behind bars before he was freed in 1999 after DNA testing conclusively proved him not guilty. ""Exit to Freedom"" is the unforgettable story of Johnson's unrelenting quest for justice against incredible odds and under circumstances that threatened to shred his dignity and hope. As Johnson recalls his trial and long journey toward freedom through five Georgia prisons, he speaks candidly about everything from his middle-class childhood in Atlanta to the reasons he became a rape suspect to the steadfast support of his family. However disturbed readers may become by this portrait of a justice system undermined by its own cynicism, Johnson feels no bitterness toward his accusers. In a book that offers many lessons about freedom, that may be the most important one of all.
Calvin C. Johnson Jr. lives and works in the Atlanta area. He is on the board of the Georgia Innocence Project. Greg Hampikian, an associate professor of biology, works in the forensic science program at Boise State University. Barry Scheck is cofounder of the Innocence Project.