The Exoneration: Hairs were found at the scene of the crime, and during the trial, a forensic expert testified that the hairs belonged to Pierce. After the Innocence Project became invovled with the case, the FBI's forensic labs re-examined the hairs in 2001, it found they did not belong to Pierce, but to another convicted felon. "I hope you all won't forget about them, too, because there are more," he said upon his release, about others who had been wrongly convicted, after spending 15 years in prison. "I'm just the one that opened the door, and I feel there will be a lot more coming out behind me."
The Crime: In 1986, an Oklahoma City woman returning to her apartment complex was sexually assaulted. The victim could not identify her attacker only that he was wearing a tan shirt. Pierce, part of the landscaping crew for her apartment complex, happened to be wearing a tan shirt and was placed in the photo lineup. The victim identified him, and he was sentenced to 65 years in prison for rape and robbery.