One of the most memorable acts this season on America’s Got Talent is Archie Williams. The singer was wrongfully incarcerated for over 36 years, before finally being exonerated in 2019.
The judges and viewers have been moved by his story and his voice. Read on to learn more about Archie’s story, and to learn how much compensation he’s entitled to for the time he spent in prison.
Archie Williams auditions for “America’s Got Talent.” How Much Was Archie Williams Compensated? Archie Williams was
convicted of raping and stabbing a woman in Louisiana in 1982. Despite fingerprints from the crime reportedly not matching Archie’s, he was sent to prison and served over 36 years.
For years, Archie worked with the Innocence Project in the hopes of having the evidence revisited. Finally, in 2019,
the fingerprints were run through a national database that matched them to a serial rapist who died in prison in 1996.
According to the New York Times, Archie is entitled to a maximum of $250,000 for his wrongful incarceration under Louisiana law. That’s around $7,000 for each year he spent in prison. According to ABC, this is paid out over 10 years.
Hillar C. Moore III, district attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish, reportedly said of Archie’s exoneration in court, “As a representative of the state, I apologize.”
Archie’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Journey So Far Archie shared his story in his Season 15 audition, going on to sing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” by Elton John. The judges were moved by the performance, with Heidi Klum tearing up. He received four “yes” votes.
Simon Cowell was so moved by Archie’s story that he decided to become an Ambassador for the Innocence Project, which works to put an end to wrongful convictions.
Archie moved on from the Judge Cuts without having to perform again. In this week’s quarterfinals, Archie performed live on stage at Universal Studios Hollywood. He sang “Love’s in Need of Love Today” by Stevie Wonder. He was voted through to the semifinals by America.