As Tennessee makes an unprecedented push to execute prisoners–at least 10 are scheduled to die in the next two years–the implications of Paul Gregory House’s life story loom over the state’s death penalty system, The Tennessean reports. Dozens of appeals of the murder charge against him, in both state and federal courts, failed to free him, even as he maintained his innocence and new technology ripped apart prosecutors’ evidence against him. He spent 22 years on death row for a murder he did not commit.
Since 1989, 316 people convicted of crimes ranging from rape and robberies to multiple murders have been exonerated by new evidence in the U.S., says The Innocence Project. Of those, 18 were sitting on death row. There were three exonerations in Tennessee, but House’s case was not one of them. He has not been exonerated. For that he’d need a pardon from Gov. Bill Haslam, something Joyce House is seeking to end their ordeal. She wrote him a letter last April but hasn’t heard back.