Archie Williams, a 58-year old man, who spent 36 years in a Louisiana prison for a rape he didn't commit, has become a favorite on the "America's Got Talent" show, even though his episode has not been aired yet.
“I knew I was innocent, I did not commit a crime,” said Williams in an interview before his performance.
In 1982 a white woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was raped and stabbed by a stranger. She repeatedly identified Williams as her rapist.
Williams, who was 22 at the time, was asleep at his home at the time of the assault, and his fingerprints weren't found at the scene. Despite that fact, in 1983 the man was convicted of attempted murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Over many years the Innocence Project looked into his case repeatedly, asking for DNA testing and fingerprint comparisons that could prove Williams' innocence.
In March 2019 Williams' charges were dismissed, and he was finally freed.
“It was like a nightmare,” Williams said. “I went to prison, but I never let my mind go to prison.”
Williams stressed that singing helped him get through all of those years.
"I watched 'America's Got Talent' in prison, and I would visualize myself there," he said. “And now I'm here."
Williams performed the song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," making everyone watching him rise and give him a standing ovation.