In 1979, Malcolm Alexander of Louisiana was accused of rape. When he was sadly given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a crime he did not commit, he was just 21 years old. Despite Malcolm’s claims of innocence, the judge who presided over his case decided that he was guilty of the crime. Malcolm was transported to Angola to carry out his life sentence.
Malcolm participated in a program that raised pups in prison. The nine-month-old puppy named Innocent was one of the puppies he reared. Malcolm and Innocent enjoyed their time spent together. He even started calling the pup Inn as its nickname.
In 1996, Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal group, volunteered to review Malcolm’s case after becoming intrigued about it. They then asked for the man’s case to be reopened and discovered new evidence proving Malcolm’s innocence. DNA testing was done on the hair evidence, and the results favored Malcolm.
Malcolm had to briefly leave Innocent in Angola because his indictment was at the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.
The man finally became a free man in 2018 after he spent 38 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. Outside the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, his family awaited his release and were very happy to welcome him home.
Malcolm was also excited to be with Innocent again and make more memories together outside the confines of jail. He and the dog were reunited the day after he was released. Melissa Sopher and Vanessa Potkin of the Innocence Project took the dog from Angola and transported her to Malcolm’s home.
Innocent seemed worried and delighted to see his fur dad while they were traveling. She was sitting peacefully in the car and would sometimes look out the window. As soon as Innocent stepped out of the car, she could not stop wagging her tail and went to hug Malcolm.
Malcolm planned to use the skills he gained in prison to earn a living. He already knew woodworking, jewelry making, and construction.
Malcolm and Innocent have been nominated for membership in the 2019 Krewe of Barkus. Krewe of Barkus is the Louisiana Mardi Gras dog procession. Princess Innocence would wear a cape that would proudly bear her name.
Malcolm, congratulations on your independence! Enjoy pleasant moments with Innocent!