Jim Fogle Celebrates Three Years of Freedom After Serving 34 for a Crime He Didn’t Commit
Today marks three years since exoneree Lewis “Jim” Fogle had his indictment formally overturned for a crime he played no part in, and for which he served 34 years.
Fogle was accused of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in 1976 by a man with psychiatric disabilities who had undergone hypnosis by an untrained college professor. He was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The national Innocence Project and the PA Innocence Project requested DNA testing in Fogle’s case in 2008, and sperm cells tested in 2014 revealed a DNA profile that did not match Fogle.
With his innocence proven, the charges against Fogle were dropped on Sept 14, 2015.
Fogle is Pennsylvania’s longest serving exoneree. He’s also the fourth-longest serving of the 337 people exonerated nationally by DNA evidence since 1989, according to York Dispatch. Fogle, who suffers from PTSD and was offered no compensation following his release, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Indiana County seeking damages.
The Guardian reports that painting helped Fogle cope during his time in prison and that he hopes to pursue painting professionally now that he’s been exonerated. In 2016 he had his first art exhibition, entitled “Justice + Art,” at the Monongalia Arts Center in West Virginia. Since then, Fogle has worked as a handyman and given guest lectures to university students, according to the Post Gazette. The same publication reports that Fogle spends much of his time painting, writing letters to friends still in prison, doing legal research for inmates, and taking walks.