Archie Williams stepped out of the 19th Judicial District courthouse and into the sunshine Thursday afternoon surrounded by relatives and lawyers — his first taste of freedom after more than 36 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

He's relieved to be free again but struggles to leave behind other innocent people serving time for wrongful convictions in Louisiana prisons.

"I'm not free until they're free," he said.

Williams was convicted in 1983 for the rape and stabbing of a woman at her home in the Hundred Oaks area of Baton Rouge after the victim identified him in a photographic lineup presented by investigators. Eleven of 12 jurors were convinced of his guilt and a judge sentenced Williams to life without parole.

Improvements in evidence technology have since allowed investigators to match fingerprints from the scene to another man, Stephen Forbes, who committed several other rapes around that time and later died in prison.

Prosecutors didn't oppose a recent request from Williams' attorneys for additional fingerprint testing. And after receiving the results, both sides filed a joint motion to vacate his conviction.