CNN to feature wrongfully imprisoned Ridgefield man

He, 2nd man served 17 years for rape they didn’t commit

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

Alan Northrop, a former Clark County man who spent 17 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a rape, will be the subject of a CNN program Sunday evening called “The Price of Life.”

On TV

• “The Price of Life,”

5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday, CNN.

The segment will air at 5, 8 and 11 p.m. Sunday on CNN (Comcast channel 44 or 744). A TV listing for the special says it will examine whether defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes should receive state compensation.

'A Life Interrupted'

The April 2011 story about Alan Northrop's ordeal can be read here.

Northrop’s journey -- from being convicted of raping a housekeeper in 1993 to being freed from prison in 2010 after new DNA evidence supported his story that he wasn’t at the scene -- is apparently the focus of the program.

Northrop, 47, who now lives in Longview with his grown daughter, said a CNN crew did filming and interviewed him for the special in January.

The CNN segment comes after a bill died in the Washington Legislature this past session that would have compensated innocent prisoners for each year they spent in prison. The bill, which was first introduced last year, was prompted by the case of Northrop and Larry Davis, Northrop’s co-defendant who also spent 17 years in prison and was later cleared.

Northrop was freed from prison April 21, 2010, by Clark County Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard after new DNA technology pointed to different, unknown assailants. The new DNA testing was performed at the request of the Innocence Project Northwest in Seattle, which agreed to take on Northrop’s case in 2001.

Prosecutors subsequently dismissed charges against Northrop and Davis in July 2010.

The Columbian covered the Northrop and Davis case extensively in 2010 and did an in-depth look in April 2011 at Northrop’s life after prison in an article titled “A Life Interrupted.”