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250

EXONERATED
TOO MANY WRONGFULLY CONVICTED
AN INNOCENCE PROJECT REPORT ON THE
FIRST 250 DNA EXONERATIONS IN THE U.S.

BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, YESHIVA UNIVERSITY


INTRODUCTION
The people you will meet in this booklet did not simply endure injustice that
nobody else can begin to imagine; they prevailed. Each and every one of them was
proven innocent — simply, elegantly and definitively—through DNA testing.
We are privileged to know most of the 250 people whose stories follow. Without
warning or cause, all of them were swept off the streets one day, forcibly
separated from their families and friends, and wrongfully imprisoned for years or,
often, decades. Some narrowly escaped execution.
Even in their first days of freedom, the euphoria that many exonerated people feel
is tempered by a profoundly personal understanding of the larger problem and an
unwavering resolve to help fix a broken system. They don’t want anyone else to be
robbed of life and liberty as they were.

When we founded the Innocence Project in 1992, we wanted to walk as many


innocent people out of prison as possible—and to turn the horror each one
experienced into a “learning moment” that could help repair the systemic
failings in our criminal justice system. The demand for our services has grown
tremendously, as has the network of organizations working tirelessly to free
the innocent and reform the system.
Today, there are more than 50 organizations in the Innocence Network, and many
of them helped exonerate the individuals in this booklet. Together, we are in a
race against time—a race to test evidence before it is destroyed, and to prove
the truth before one of our innocent clients spends one more birthday behind
bars. And we are in a race against time to reform the criminal justice system
before more innocent people are wrongfully convicted.
The most common question we are asked is, “How many innocent people are in
prison?” Nobody truly knows the answer—but the question itself is haunting,
since it reflects the common knowledge that there are undoubtedly more. Because
just a small fraction of cases involve evidence that could be tested for DNA—
and even when such evidence exists, it is often lost or destroyed—we know that
these first 250 DNA exonerations are the tip of the iceberg.

Each wrongful conviction that has been overturned through DNA evidence could
have been prevented if eyewitness procedures had been better, if interrogations had
been recorded, if crime labs had been subjected to greater oversight, if the system
had been more skeptical of jailhouse informants, or if other reforms had been in
place. Since the first person in the U.S. was exonerated through DNA, states,
counties and individual law enforcement agencies have enacted these reforms.
Our mandate—society’s duty to these 250 people and the ones who will follow
them—is to free more innocent people while fixing the system to prevent wrongful
convictions. We owe these people, and ourselves, no less.

Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld


GARY DOTS O N • 1 9 8 9 DAVID VASQUEZ • 1989 EDWARD GREEN • 1990 CHARLES DABBS • 1991 BRUCE NELSON • 1991

10 YEARS
............................................
ILLINOIS 4 YEARS
....................................................
VIRGINIA 1 Y E A R
...........................................................
DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA
7 Y E A R S
.........................................................
NEW YORK 9 YEARS
.....................................................
PENNSYLVANIA

Based on eyewitness David Vasquez, Edward Green was Charles Dabbs is In 1982, Bruce
misidentification, who has substantial apprehended in the distant cousin of Nelson was implicated
Gary Dotson was cognitive limitations, 1987 at a location a woman who was in a rape and
convicted of rape pled guilty to where both a rape raped in 1982. She murder based on
and aggravated murder. His “dream and an attempted identified Dabbs as the confession of
kidnapping in May statement,” along with rape had occurred. one of her assailants, Terrence Moore, who
1979. The victim his lack of an alibi, The victims of both saying that the man was also charged
eventually recanted convinced a jury of crimes identified who raped her wore with the crime. When
her testimony, saying his guilt, and he was Green, and he was clothing similar to police questioned
she had fabricated convicted in 1985. convicted. Prior to his. DNA testing Nelson (with Moore
the rape. Still, Dotson He served four years his sentencing, his exonerated Dabbs also present in the
served four more before DNA testing lawyers secured seven years after room), Nelson asked
years behind bars exonerated him. DNA testing of the his conviction. Moore what he had
before he was fully evidence and Green previously told police
exonerated through was excluded as — and that question
DNA testing. the perpetrator. was used as a
confession in Nelson’s
trial. In 1990, the
prosecution agreed to
subject several pieces
of evidence to DNA
testing, which proved
Nelson’s innocence.

THE FIRST
250 Of the first 250 people exonerated through DNA*:

Each individual exonerated through DNA is


unique. Their convictions were different,
and their experiences after exoneration vary. They served an average of
Collectively, they illustrate the criminal justice
system’s failings and the need for reform.
*Percentage is based on cases where information is available to make a determination.
Note: The Innocence Project strives to track DNA exonerations chronologically, however
some of the 250 profiles that follow may deviate from strict chronological order depending on
the availability of information in each case. The year of exoneration, as listed, is accurate.

2 | Innocence Project
GLEN WOODALL • 1992 STEVEN LINSCOTT • 1992 JOE JONES • 1992 LEONARD CALLACE • 1992 KERRY KOTLER • 1992

4 .5 YEARS
......................................
WEST VIRGINA 3 Y E A R S
.....................................................
ILLINOIS 6.5 YEARS
.......................................
KANSAS 5.5 YEARS
10.5 YEARS
.......................................
NEW YORK
..................................
NEW YORK

Glen Woodall was In 1982, Steven Outside a nightclub Leonard Callace was In 1978 and again
sentenced to two life Linscott was convicted that Joe Jones charged with sexually in 1981, a man in a
sentences plus 203 of murdering his frequented, a woman assaulting a young ski mask raped and
to 335 years for two neighbor. Linscott was kidnapped woman in the parking robbed a woman
rapes. Since neither told police that he and raped in 1985. lot of a shopping at knifepoint in her
victim clearly saw had dreamt about Based on eyewitness center. Based on home. She identified
the perpetrator, their the crime, and his misidentification and misidentification Kerry Kotler as her
identifications of him description of the the fact that Jones by the victim, his assailant, though her
were shaky at best dream mirrored the owned a pair of resemblance to a initial description
— they identified him crime in several jeans that resembled composite sketch of of the man did not
after being hypnotized, ways. In 1992, after those worn by the the perpetrator and resemble Kotler. He
and their identification three years in prison perpetrator, he was a serology test that had spent over a
was based in part and seven years on convicted. DNA testing suggested he could decade in prison when
on smell. Fred Zain, bond, DNA testing ultimately proved be the perpetrator, the DNA testing led to
a fraudulent lab excluded Linscott Jones’ innocence, jury convicted Callace his exoneration. He
technician, provided as the perpetrator. and he was in one hour. In 1991, was later convicted
evidence that helped exonerated in 1992. Callace’s request of different charges
convict Woodall. Early for DNA testing was on the basis of
DNA tests suggested granted and showed DNA evidence.
Woodall’s innocence that he did not
and his conviction commit the rape.
was vacated; further
testing yielded the
same results and he
was exonerated.

13 years in prison —
and a combined total of 3,160 years.
www.innocenceproject.org | 3
WILLIAM KELLY • 1993 WALTER SNYDER • 1993 KIRK BLOODSWORTH •1993 DWAYNE SCRUGGS • 1993 MARK DIAZ BRAVO • 1994

2.5 YEARS .......................................


PENNSYLVANIA 6.5 YEARS
......................................
VIRGINIA 8 Y E A R S
......................................................
MARYLAND 7.5 YEARS......................................
INDIANA 3 YEARS
.....................................................
CALIFORNIA

William Kelly Walter Snyder’s Kirk Bloodsworth Dwayne Scruggs was Mark Diaz Bravo
confessed to killing across-the-street was arrested for the convicted in 1986 was a nurse at a Los
Jeanette Thomas and neighbor identified rape and murder of a of rape and robbery Angeles hospital
dumping her body in him as the man who nine-year-old girl after and sentenced to where a patient was
a landfill. Kelly, who raped and robbed her an anonymous caller 40 years in prison raped in 1990. She
has a low IQ and a in 1985. His mother claimed to have seen based on the victim’s implicated Bravo, and
history of alcoholism, was the only person him with the victim. misidentification of although he had a
was led to believe who could corroborate Bloodsworth became him. The perpetrator strong alibi, he was
that he had committed his alibi. Snyder the first person to be had tried to hide arrested. Serological
the crime. The case served six and a half exonerated by post- his face during the testing revealed that
was reopened when years of a 45-year conviction DNA testing attack, but the victim the perpetrator had
authorities, led sentence before he who had served identified him in part a blood type shared
by Joseph Miller, was proven innocent time on death row. based on the shoes by only 3% of the
discovered two through DNA testing. he was wearing. In population—and Bravo
more bodies in the 1993, DNA testing could not be excluded.
same landfill. Miller vindicated Scruggs. Bravo’s attorney
later confessed to said the prosecution
killing Thomas; DNA refused to allow
testing matched DNA testing before
Miller and confirmed the trial. Bravo was
Kelly’s innocence. convicted and spent
three years in prison
before DNA testing
proved his innocence.

6% were under the age of 18


when they were

4 | Innocence Project
DALE BRISON • 1994 GILBERT ALEJANDRO • 1994 FREDERICK DAYE • 1994 BRIAN PISZCZEK • 1994 EDWARD HONAKER • 1994

3.5 YEARS......................................
PENNSYLVANIA 3.5 YEARS
10 YEARS
......................................
TEXAS
............................................
CALIFORNIA 3 YEARS
.....................................................
OHIO 9.5 YEARS ........................................
VIRGINIA

Dale Brison was Gilbert Alejandro Frederick Daye A man gained entry A rape victim,
arrested for rape was convicted of had been wrongly into a woman’s and her boyfriend
and kidnapping in aggravated sexual incarcerated for apartment by who witnessed the
1990 after the victim assault in 1990, six years when claiming to be a attack, identified
identified him near her based mostly on the another defendant friend, then raped Edward Honaker
apartment building. fraudulent testimony of in his case made a and burglarized her. as the perpetrator.
Brison’s request for forensics technician statement that Daye Brian Piszczek had Centurion Ministries
DNA testing was Fred Zain. Subsequent was not involved in visited the victim’s later discovered that
denied at the time DNA testing indicated the rape, kidnapping home before with a the victims had been
of the trial. But that Zain had made and vehicular mutual friend. Only hypnotized, and that
several years later, his findings before he theft for which he his girlfriend could their initial description
the Pennsylvania had even completed was convicted. corroborate his alibi, was not consistent
Supreme Court ruled the test, and, in An additional four and he was convicted. with Honaker. DNA
that the evidence fact, the results years passed before In 1994, Piszczek testing ultimately
must be tested if it excluded Alejandro DNA testing proved was exonerated proved his innocence.
was available. The as a contributor of the Daye’s innocence. on DNA results.
results proved that biological sample.
Brison could not have
been the perpetrator.

wrongfully convicted;
21% were 21 years old or younger.
www.innocenceproject.org | 5
RONNIE BULLOCK • 1994 TERRY CHALMERS • 1995 DAVID SHEPHARD • 1995 RONALD COTTON • 1995 WILLIAM O’DELL HARRIS
1995

10.5 YEARS ..................................


ILLINOIS 7.5 YEARS
.........................................
NEW YORK 9.5 YEARS
10.5 YEARS
.........................................
NEW JERSEY
..................................
N. CAROLINA 7 Y E A R S
........................................................
WEST VIRGINIA

In 1983, a man Terry Chalmers’ photo David Shephard was Based on a photo William O’Dell Harris
impersonating a was the only one convicted of raping identification made was convicted of
police officer raped repeated in photo and robbing a woman by the victim, Ronald raping a nurse based
two young girls. arrays shown to a rape in a parking lot. Cotton was convicted on the testimony of
Ronnie Bullock was victim. With no other Two men assaulted of rape and burglary a lab technician and
identified by a police evidence, Chalmers the victim but only and sentenced to life false testimony of a
officer based on a was convicted in Shephard, who was plus 54 years. DNA police officer. When
composite sketch and 1987. Chalmers identified by the victim testing cleared Cotton, state lab technician
was later misidentified filed an appeal but (in part based on his and he and the rape Fred Zain’s misconduct
in a lineup by both his conviction was voice), was charged survivor from the case, in other cases was
victims. Over ten years upheld. With the help with the crime. He Jennifer Thompson- revealed, Harris and
later, DNA testing of the Innocence served nine and a Cannino, speak others who were
proved his innocence. Project, he petitioned half years in prison publicly together convicted as a result
for DNA testing and before DNA testing to educate people of Zain’s testimony
was exonerated. exonerated him. about eyewitness were granted special
He is now a family misidentification and appeals processes.
services worker in wrongful convictions. In 1994, two rounds
Essex County and the of DNA testing proved
Founding President Harris’ innocence.
of AFTER, which The police officer
assists exonerees who provided false
after release. testimony about the
victim’s identification
was later convicted
of perjury.

60% are African American;

6 | Innocence Project
ROLANDO CRUZ • 1995 GERALD DAVIS • 1995 DEWEY DAVIS • 1995 ALEJANDRO HERNANDEZ VINCENT MOTO • 1996
1995

10.5 YEARS ..................................


ILLINOIS 8 YEARS
.....................................................
WEST VIRGINIA 7 Y E A R S
........................................................
WEST VIRGINIA 10.5 YEARS..................................
ILLINOIS 8.5 YEARS ........................................
PENNSYLVANIA

In 1983, Rolando A family friend of Dewey Davis Together with his co- Vincent Moto of
Cruz, then a teenager, the Davis’s accused was convicted of defendant, Rolando Philadelphia was
was charged with Gerald of sexually abduction, sexual Cruz, Alejandro pushing his baby son
raping and killing a assaulting her while assault and sexual Hernandez was in a stroller when
little girl. According she was at their abuse in 1987 based sentenced to death for the victim of a rape
to detectives, Cruz home doing laundry. on the claim that rape and murder and and robbery that had
had reported “visions” Because Fred Zain, his son, Gerald, had was later exonerated occurred five months
of the murder, which a fraudulent lab raped a woman in through DNA evidence. earlier identified him
closely resembled technician, was his home and he had The detectives on the street as one
the actual details involved in the done nothing to stop working on the case of her two assailants.
of the crime. He serological testing it. Gerald Davis was claimed that both He was arrested and
and a co-defendant, of the case, Davis allowed to file for Cruz and Hernandez convicted based on
Alejandro Hernandez, was allowed to file DNA testing because made incriminating this misidentification.
were sentenced to for DNA testing. DNA a fraudulent forensic statements. During DNA testing finally
death. Shortly after tests proved that he scientist was involved appeals, one of the led to Moto’s
their trial, a convicted was not the source in the serological detectives recanted exoneration. Today,
murderer confessed of male biological testing of the case. his testimony. he is a musician
to the crime, but he material in the rape The results ultimately and father of four.
was never tried. Cruz kit, and his conviction exonerated both men.
and Hernandez served was vacated. The
nearly 11 years on prosecution retried
death row before him for the crime,
DNA testing proved but a jury acquitted
their innocence. him, and he was
finally exonerated.

8% are Latino;
29% are Caucasian.
www.innocenceproject.org | 7
RICHARD JOHNSON • 1996 THOMAS WEBB • 1996 KEVIN GREEN • 1996 VERNEAL JIMERSON • 1996 KENNETH ADAMS • 1996

4 YEARS
........................................................
ILLINOIS 13 YEARS
............................................
OKLAHOMA 15.5 YEARS
10.5 YEARS
17.5 YEARS
..................................
CALIFORNIA
..................................
ILLINOIS
..................................
ILLINOIS

In 1990, a graduate The victim of a 1982 Kevin Green was Verneal Jimerson was Kenneth Adams was
student at the rape was unable to found guilty of the convicted in 1985 convicted of rape
University of Chicago identify her assailant attempted murder of for a 1978 Chicago and murder as one
was raped and from an initial photo his wife and the death rape and murder that of the “Ford Heights
robbed. Serological lineup. Thomas Webb of their unborn child. came to be known Four.” Adams was
testing of the was one of only His wife, who suffered as the “Ford Heights implicated based on
biological evidence two men who were severe brain damage Four” case. Paula the false confession
suggested that included in both the and amnesia as a Gray, who claimed of Paula Gray. He was
Richard Johnson was first and second result of the attack, to be an eyewitness, convicted, sentenced
not the perpetrator, photo lineups, and testified against implicated Jimerson to 75 years, and
yet Johnson’s attorney the one that most him. Over a decade and three other men. exonerated by DNA
did not present this closely resembled later, the biological Jimerson had served testing in 1996.
evidence at trial. her description. Webb evidence in the case years on death row
DNA testing was not was convicted and was run through a when a group of
done at the time, but served over 13 years DNA database and journalism students
four years later, test of a 60-year sentence matched to a serial at Northwestern
results established before DNA testing led killer known as the University, led by
Johnson’s innocence. to his exoneration. “Bedroom Basher” Professor David
who confessed to Protess, uncovered
the attack and five evidence that led to
other murders. three other suspects.
DNA testing ultimately
exonerated Jimerson
and his three co-
defendants.

47% of them had spent at least


one-third of their lives

8 | Innocence Project
WILLIE RAINGE • 1996 DENNIS WILLIAMS • 1996 STEVEN TONEY • 1996 TROY WEBB • 19 9 6 FREDERIC SAECKER • 1996

17.5 YEARS
17.5 YEARS
13
ILLINOIS
YEARS
.................................. ..................................
ILLINOIS
.............................................
MISSOURI 7.5 YEARS
........................................
VIRGINIA 6 Y E A R S
.....................................................
WISCONSIN

Willie Rainge was Like his co-defendants, Steven Toney was A woman said she Frederic Saecker
convicted as one of Willie Rainge, Kenneth sentenced to two life was 99% sure that became implicated
the “Ford Heights Adams and Verneal sentences for a 1982 Troy Webb raped her. in a kidnapping and
Four.” He and his co- Jimerson, Dennis rape after the victim Serology tests were rape when he was
defendants lived in the Williams was identified him in a inconclusive, and he found near the victim’s
Ford Heights area and convicted of a rape photo and in a live was convicted based home wearing a
were implicated by and murder he did not lineup. On appeal, on her eyewitness bloodstained T-shirt.
the false confession commit in connection the defense alleged misidentification. Saecker did not at all
of Paula Gray. Rainge with the Chicago “Ford multiple constitutional When he finally resemble the victim’s
was sentenced to Heights Four” case. violations in his trial. gained access to description of the
life in prison, but He was sentenced to Toney was exonerated evidence for DNA attacker, but he was
was released 18 death and spent 17 13 years after his testing, the results convicted. In 1993,
years later when DNA and a half years in conviction based verified his claims DNA testing proved
testing vindicated prison before he was on DNA testing. of innocence. him innocent. Three
all four defendants. finally exonerated. years later, he was
Williams died in 2003 finally released.
at the age of 46.

in prison or on parole
when they were exonerated.
www.innocenceproject.org | 9
VICTOR ORTIZ • 1996 WALTER D. SMITH • 1996 ANTHONY HICKS • 1997 MARVIN MITCHELL • 1997 CHESTER BAUER • 1997

11.5 YEARS
10 YEARS
..................................
NEW YORK
............................................
OHIO 5 Y E A R S
.....................................................
WISCONSIN 7 Y E A R S
........................................................
MASSACHUSETTS 8 Y E A R S
........................................................
MONTANA

In early 1983, While Walter Smith Stopped for a traffic Shortly after a young Chester Bauer was
a teenager was was awaiting trial on violation, Anthony girl was raped, she convicted of raping a
abducted at gunpoint unrelated charges, Hicks became a was driven around woman at knifepoint.
and raped after her three women suspect in a robbery by the police to see The victim and her
assailant took her identified him as their and sexual assault if she could identify husband misidentified
into a wooded area. rapist. Smith pleaded case when someone the assailant. She Bauer, and a lab
She identified Victor guilty to the unrelated in the jail thought saw a resemblance analyst testified that
Ortiz, and he was charges, but denied he resembled the in Marvin Mitchell, several hairs from
convicted. In 1994, the accusations composite sketch. One except that he had the crime scene
the Innocence Project of rape. He was of five hair roots found facial hair and the matched Bauer.
took his case and convicted of two at the scene was assailant had been He was convicted,
secured DNA testing rapes and sentenced eventually subjected clean-shaven. Police but evidence later
of the evidence. to 78 to 190 years in to DNA testing, and then picked up surfaced showing that
Ortiz was exonerated prison. DNA testing Hicks was exonerated. Mitchell and took a the analyst miscounted
two years later. proved his innocence, photo of him, which the number of hairs
and today he is a they showed to the at the crime scene
motivational speaker victim. At that point, — and that none
and professional she identified him as of them matched
bodybuilder. her attacker, and he Bauer. DNA testing
was later convicted. ultimately proved his
Many years later, innocence in 1997.
DNA testing proved
his innocence.

On average, they were 27


at the time of the wrongful conviction

10 | Innocence Project
KEVIN BYRD • 1997 DONALD REYNOLDS • 1997 BILLY WARDELL • 1997 KEITH BROWN • 1997 BEN SALAZAR • 1997

12 YEARS
................................................
TEXAS 9.5 YEARS
........................................
ILLINOIS 9.5 YEARS
........................................
ILLINOIS 4 YEARS
.....................................................
N. CAROLINA 5 YEARS
.....................................................
TEXAS

Months after a Donald Reynolds Along with his In 1993, Keith Brown Ben Salazar smoked
pregnant woman was was convicted of co-defendant, was wrongfully the same brand of
raped at knifepoint, sexual assault, armed Donald Reynolds, convicted and cigarettes and had
she identified Kevin robbery and related Billy Wardell was sentenced to 35 years a similar tattoo
Byrd, whom she charges in 1988. wrongfully convicted in prison for sexually as the man who
encountered at the Serious allegations of sexual assault assaulting a mother raped a pregnant
grocery store, as surfaced that and armed robbery. and her nine-year- woman in 1991.
her attacker. Byrd is exculpatory evidence Serological testing old daughter. During He was convicted
African American, and was not turned over to of the evidence did interrogation and the following year.
the victim initially his attorneys before not match Wardell; under the pressure Biological evidence
said a white man his trial, and that a in spite of this and of law enforcement, in the case could not
had raped her. Byrd lab technician who the testimony of three Brown falsely be located for years,
was convicted and performed serological alibi witnesses, he confessed to the but once found, three
sentenced to life in testing exaggerated was convicted. Both crimes. Years later, rounds of DNA testing
prison. The evidence the results. For years, Wardell and Reynolds the rape kits collected proved that Salazar
in his case, which was Reynolds sought were exonerated in the case were could not have been
slated to be destroyed, DNA testing, and the in 1997 after DNA tested and the DNA the perpetrator.
was recovered by results ultimately testing proved test results implicated
chance, subjected vindicated him and their innocence. a Florida inmate.
to DNA testing and his co-defendant,
exonerated him. Billy Wardell, after
serving almost a
decade in prison.

and 42 by the time


they were exonerated.
www.innocenceproject.org | 11
TIMOTHY DURHAM • 1997 ROBERT MILLER • 1998 PERRY MITCHELL • 1998 DALE MAHAN • 1998 RONNIE MAHAN • 1998

3.5 YEARS ......................................


OKLAHOMA 9.5 YEARS
14.5 YEARS
11.5 YEARS
11.5 YEARS
........................................
OKLAHOMA
..................................
S. CAROLINA
..................................
ALABAMA
..................................
ALABAMA

Timothy Durham was Following a 1986 In the woods near Dale Mahan and his Along with his brother
sentenced to 3,200 rape and murder, Perry Mitchell’s brother Ronnie were Dale, Ronnie Mahan
years for the violent police canvassed home, a young convicted for a 1983 was wrongfully
rape of an 11-year-old the neighborhood woman was raped rape and kidnapping. incarcerated for
girl. The prosecution collecting blood in 1982. Mitchell The prosecution 11 and a half years
relied on the victim’s samples from African was arrested a week contended that Dale based on a rape and
vague description American men. later on the grounds Mahan raped the kidnapping victim’s
of the attacker and Robert Miller’s blood that he somewhat fit victim while Ronnie misidentification.
inconclusive hair and type was found to the description and watched. Although Both brothers were
semen evidence. In match evidence from lived nearby. After the assailants had exonerated through
his defense, Durham the crime scene. viewing three photo forced the victim DNA testing in 1998.
had 11 witnesses Detectives took lineups, the victim to take drugs and
who corroborated his advantage of Miller’s misidentified Mitchell they wore masks
alibi. DNA test results fragile mental health as her attacker. Based during the attack, the
excluded him in during a 12-hour on exculpatory DNA victim identified the
1996 and implicated interrogation where test results, Mitchell brothers in a photo
a convicted rapist. he claimed he had was exonerated lineup. Years later,
special powers and after more than 14 DNA testing was
could see through the years in prison. conducted on the
killer’s eyes; police rape kit and showed
called his statements a that both brothers
confession and he was were innocent.
convicted. DNA tests
ultimately exculpated
Miller and implicated
another man.

17 of them served time on death row.

12 | Innocence Project
ANTHONY GRAY • 1999 JOHN WILLIS • 1999 RON WILLIAMSON • 1999 DENNIS FRITZ • 1999 RONALD JONES • 1999

7 Y E A R S
........................................................
MARYLAND 7 Y E A R S
........................................................
ILLINOIS 11 YEARS
..................................................
OKLAHOMA 11 YEARS
..................................................
OKLAHOMA 10 YEARS
............................................
ILLINOIS

Police officers John Willis was Ron Williamson came Along with his co- Ronald Jones falsely
coaxed Anthony convicted of two rapes within five days of defendant, Ron confessed to having
Gray to confess to and robberies among execution for the Williamson, Dennis sex with a rape and
a 1991 rape and a string of similar murder of a young Fritz was convicted murder victim and
murder. Gray, who crimes in Chicago woman from Ada, of murder in 1988. struggling with her
has limited cognitive in 1990. In 1994, Oklahoma. DNA testing He became a suspect after she attacked
abilities, pled guilty Dennis McGruder finally vindicated solely because of him. An eyewitness
and was convicted; was arrested for him and pointed to his friendship with identified Jones
he was sentenced to committing similar another man who Williamson. For lack as an aggressive
two concurrent life rapes and robberies had been one of the of evidence against panhandler who had
sentences. Years in the area. Willis state’s witnesses at Fritz, the prosecution grabbed the victim
later, DNA testing asserted that trial. The story of nearly had to drop earlier that day. Jones
revealed a match McGruder had Ron Williamson’s the charges, until was convicted and
with a new suspect confessed to all of wrongful conviction is a jailhouse snitch sentenced to death
who confessed to the crimes while told by John Grisham claimed that Fritz had until DNA testing
the crime, and Gray the two were in in “The Innocent confessed. More than performed in 1997
was exonerated. jail. Several more Man.” Williamson a decade later, DNA proved his innocence.
years would pass died in 2004. proved his innocence.
before DNA testing In 2006, Fritz
freed Willis and published “Journey
implicated McGruder. Towards Justice,”
the story of his
wrongful conviction
and exoneration.

www.innocenceproject.org | 13
CALVIN JOHNSON • 1999 DAVID A. GRAY • 1999 HABIB WAHIR ABDAL • 1999 JAMES RICHARDSON • 1999 CLYDE CHARLES • 1999

15.5 YEARS ..................................


GEORGIA 20 YEARS
..........................................
ILLINOIS 16 YEARS
............................................
NEW YORK 9 Y E A R S
.....................................................
WEST VIRGINIA 17 YEARS
..................................................
LOUISIANA

Based in part on David A. Gray was Habib Wahir Abdal, James Richardson’s An hour before a
misidentification by sentenced to 60 years then known as case was one brutal rape was
the victims, Calvin in prison in connection Vincent Jenkins, of several post- committed, Clyde
Johnson was charged with a brutal rape. was convicted of conviction DNA Charles had been
with two rapes and His first trial ended rape despite a lack exonerations caught hitchhiking
convicted of one in in a hung jury. At of evidence against involving Fred Zain, by a police officer.
1983. Since his DNA the second trial, the him. Even after police formerly of the West When this same officer
exoneration in 1999, prosecution presented informed the victim Virginia Police crime encountered the
Johnson co-authored the testimony of a that Abdal was the laboratory, who victim, he determined
“Exit to Freedom.” He jailhouse snitch who suspect, she did not was investigated that Charles fit her
serves on the Board claimed that Gray initially identify him. for misconduct. description of the
of Directors of the had confessed to Years after a first Richardson had been perpetrator. Charles
Innocence Project and him. Gray maintained round of DNA testing convicted of raping was brought to the
also of the Georgia his innocence for 20 proved inconclusive, and murdering a hospital where he
Innocence Project. years. DNA testing a second round neighbor and then was identified by the
finally affirmed revealed that he did setting her home victim. DNA testing
this claim. not match the profile on fire. In fact, he eventually exonerated
of the perpetrator had helped rescue him and implicated his
and he was finally a girl from the fire. brother in the crime.
exonerated. Abdal Charles died in 2009
died in 2005. at the age of 55.

They were convicted in 33 states

14 | Innocence Project
MCKINLEY CROMEDY • 1999 LARRY HOLDREN • 2000 HERMAN ATKINS • 2000 NEIL MILLER • 2000 A.B. BUTLER • 2000

4 .5 YEARS
15 YEARS
11.5 YEARS
......................................
NEW JERSEY
............................................
WEST VIRGINIA
..................................
CALIFORNIA 9.5 YEARS
16 YEARS
......................................
MASSACHUSETTS
............................................
TEXAS

Almost eight months A rape victim A woman was raped A woman whom A.B. Butler was
after she was raped, a identified Larry and robbed at Neil Miller had sentenced to 99
woman saw McKinley Holdren as the gunpoint in a shoe never seen before years in prison for a
Cromedy on the street assailant in a photo store. Herman Atkins identified him from rape and kidnapping
and identified him as lineup one month was convicted of a photo book as the in Texas. Butler’s
her attacker. None of after the crime. The the crime in 1988 man who broke into alibi was outweighed
the forensic evidence defense requested based on eyewitness her home and raped by the victim’s
—fingerprints, hair DNA testing, but the misidentification; her. His conviction identification of him.
samples and blood relevant biological more than a decade rested largely on her When the evidence
samples—matched evidence had not been later, DNA proved eyewitness testimony. was finally submitted
Cromedy, but he was preserved. In 1997, his innocence. In Miller was released to DNA testing, it
convicted. After the the victim’s semen- February 2006, from prison ten years revealed that Butler
state’s high court stained sweatshirt Atkins was married later after DNA testing could not have been
granted him a new was subjected to on the anniversary vindicated him. The the perpetrator
trial, DNA testing DNA testing, which of his exoneration. real perpetrator went of the crime.
was conducted, and showed that Holdren He and his wife have on to commit another
the results proved was innocent. started a foundation rape while Miller was
his innocence. to help exonerees wrongfully imprisoned.
with their immediate
needs upon release.

and the District of Columbia.

www.innocenceproject.org | 15
ARMAND VILLASANA • 2000 WILLIAM GREGORY • 2000 JERRY WATKINS • 2000 ERIC SARSFIELD • 2000 LARRY YOUNGBLOOD • 2000

7 MONTHS
.........................................................
MISSOURI 7 YEARS
.........................................................
KENTUCKY 13.5 YEARS..................................
INDIANA 9.5 YEARS
......................................
MASSACHUSETTS 9 Y E A R S
.....................................................
ARIZONA

The white victim of a William Gregory A jailhouse snitch Eric Sarsfield was No biological testing
rape and kidnapping lived in the same claimed that Jerry convicted of rape was conducted in
in 1998 described her apartment complex as Watkins confessed to based largely on a Larry Youngblood’s
assailant as Latino. a rape victim and an the rape and murder less-than-certain case because police
The photo lineup she attempted-rape victim. of Watkins’ sister-in- identification by had improperly stored
was shown included Both of the victims law. Three witnesses the victim who saw the evidence and it
five white men and identified him. Thanks testified that the Sarsfield three months had degraded. He
one Latino—Armand to a selection of hairs snitch admitted he after the crime. Years was released on
Villasana. Although found on a stocking was lying. Also, DNA later, DNA testing was appeal but returned to
he was never cap left behind testing suggested conducted on several prison in 1993 when
sentenced, Villasana by the assailant, that Watkins was pieces of biological the state Supreme
was incarcerated for Gregory became not the perpetrator. evidence. On his 37th Court reinstated
months before DNA the first person to Nevertheless, Watkins birthday, Sarsfield his sexual assault,
evidence proved be exonerated by served over 13 years learned that DNA had child molestation
his innocence and DNA mitochondrial in prison before DNA proven his innocence. and kidnapping
led to the dismissal testing alone. testing conclusively convictions. In 2000,
of his case. proved his innocence. DNA technology
advances allowed
degraded evidence
in the case to be
tested and the
results exonerated
Youngblood.

67% were convicted after 2000.

16 | Innocence Project
ROY CRINER • 2000 EARL WASHINGTON • 2000 ANTHONY ROBINSON • 2000 CARLOS LAVERNIA • 2000 JAMES O’DONNELL • 2000

10 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 17 YEARS
.................................................
VIRGINIA 10 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 15 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 2 YEARS
.........................................................
NEW YORK

Although the results With a general IQ Anthony Robinson Cuban immigrant Based on the
excluded him, post- in the range of 69, was apprehended in a Carlos Lavernia was description of a
conviction DNA Earl Washington University of Houston arrested in 1984 rapist published in
testing was not compensated for his parking lot by campus for rape and then the local newspaper,
deemed sufficient by cognitive limitations police who believed linked to seven other James O’Donnell was
the prosecution to by politely deferring that he matched the assaults in the Austin identified by a Staten
exonerate Roy Criner to authority figures. description given by area and charged as a Island resident. The
of aggravated sexual When police a rape victim. Ten serial rapist. A victim victim identified
assault. Criner then questioned him about years later, out on in the case testified him in a live lineup,
sought DNA testing on a rape and murder, parole, he began that Lavernia was the although her friend,
a cigarette butt found he confessed to the saving money to pay only one in the lineup also at the scene of
next to the victim’s crime as well as for a DNA test, which who “anywhere near the crime, did not. Two
body. A genetic profile five others. Four of led to his eventual resembles” the police rounds of DNA testing
emerged that matched these confessions exoneration. Robinson sketch. Lavernia showed that O’Donnell
both spermatozoa were dismissed, but graduated from the served 15 years of could not have been
and the cigarette Washington was Thurgood Marshall a 99-year sentence the perpetrator.
butt, and Criner was sentenced to death for School of Law and before DNA testing
finally pardoned. the fifth. Many years is now a practicing proved his innocence.
later, DNA testing attorney in China.
affirmed Washington’s
innocence.

www.innocenceproject.org | 17
WILLIE NESMITH • 2000 FRANK LEE SMITH • 2000 DAVID SHAWN POPE • 2001 LESLY JEAN • 2001 KENNETH WATERS • 2001

18 YEARS
............................................
PENNSYLVANIA 14 YEARS
............................................
FLORIDA 15 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 9 Y E A R S
.....................................................
N. CAROLINA 17.5 YEARS
....................................
MASSACHUSETTS

Willie Nesmith’s initial After 14 years on David Shawn Pope In 1982, Lesly Jean, Two of Kenneth
trial for the rape of death row, Frank was convicted of a Haitian immigrant, Waters’ ex-girlfriends
a Dickinson College Lee Smith died of aggravated sexual was convicted of first- testified against
student resulted in cancer in January assault based, in degree sexual offense him in a murder and
a hung jury. He had 2000, before he was part, on voice print and first-degree robbery trial, saying
been identified by exonerated of rape analysis of messages rape. Nine years that he had drunkenly
two witnesses who and murder. After left on the victim’s later, it was revealed confessed to the
placed him near the his death, a blood answering machine, that police and crime. One of them
scene of the crime. sample from Smith a method no longer prosecutors had failed would later recant her
He was convicted obtained by the state used in courts. An to disclose pertinent testimony. Waters’
in his second trial prosecutor’s office anonymous call first evidence in his case, sister put herself
and served 18 years was subjected to alerted prosecutors and his conviction through law school in
before DNA testing DNA testing. The to Pope’s wrongful was overturned. DNA order to take over his
exonerated him. results cleared conviction. DNA testing exonerated case and prove his
Smith and implicated testing subsequently Jean in 2001. Shortly innocence. Once she
another man. matched the profile of after his release, he located the biological
a convicted felon, and was involved in an evidence in the case,
Pope was pardoned accident that left she contacted the
by the governor. him paralyzed. Innocence Project
who helped her secure
DNA testing that
proved his innocence.
Waters passed
away six months
after his release.

84% were convicted of sexual assault,


and 29% were convicted of murder

18 | Innocence Project
DANNY BROWN • 2001 JEFFREY PIERCE • 2001 ULYS SES RODR IGUE Z JERRY FRANK TOWNSEND EDUARDO VELASQUEZ • 2001
CHARLES • 2001 2001

18.5 YEARS
14.5 YEARS
17
OHIO
YEARS
.................................. ..................................
OKLAHOMA
................................................
MASSACHUSETTS 21.5 YEARS
12.5 YEARS
...............................
FLORIDA
...............................
MASSACHUSETTS

Danny Brown had Jeffrey Pierce’s Ulysses Rodriguez During an investigation A rape victim
been dating a woman innocence was Charles was convicted for the rape of a identified Eduardo
for several months uncovered during an of rape, robbery and pregnant woman in Velasquez, then
before she was investigation of Joyce related charges in Miami, Jerry Frank known as Angel
murdered. The victim’s Gilchrist, formerly a 1984, stemming from Townsend, whose Hernandez, at night,
six-year-old son, forensic scientist at a 1980 crime. Charles cognitive abilities are from 10 to 12 feet
who had been in the the Oklahoma City long maintained limited, confessed to away. He had been
apartment the night of Police Laboratory, for that he was targeted this and several other picked up by police
the murder, testified falsifying testimony by a police officer crimes. When DNA who believed that he
that Brown had been and conducting with a vendetta results cleared him of fit the description of
there that night and shoddy forensic who hid evidence two of the six murders the perpetrator. DNA
had argued with his analysis. Pierce’s in pursuit of his he had confessed testing was performed
mother. When DNA 1986 conviction for wrongful conviction. to, also implicating in 2001 and he was
testing was eventually rape and robbery In 2001, he was another man, exonerated based on
performed, the results was overturned proven innocent prosecutors asked that the results. Today,
excluded Brown after DNA testing through DNA testing. his other convictions he lives in Puerto
and incriminated an excluded him. After be dismissed. Rico with his wife.
incarcerated felon. his release, Pierce
moved to Michigan to
live with his teenage
twin sons who were
infants when he
was convicted.

(16% were convicted


of both sexual assault and murder).
www.innocenceproject.org | 19
CHARLES IRVIN FAIN • 2001 CALVIN WASHINGTON • 2001 ANTHONY MICHAEL GREEN JOHN DIXON • 2001 MARCELLIUS BRADFORD
2001 2001

17.5 YEARS
13 YEARS
..................................
IDAHO
............................................
TEXAS 13 YEARS
............................................
OHIO 10 YEARS
............................................
NEW JERSEY 6.5 YEARS
......................................
ILLINOIS

Charles Irvin Fain had Calvin Washington Anthony Michael For fear of a harsher Marcellius Bradford
recently moved to the was convicted of Green was found guilty sentence, John Dixon was coerced into
Nampa area when a capital murder in of raping a cancer pled guilty in 1991 confessing to
young girl was raped 1987. Witnesses patient in the care of to a rape, robbery involvement in a 1986
and murdered. Police testified that the Cleveland Clinic and kidnapping that Chicago rape and
began questioning Washington admitted Hospital where he he did not commit. murder. He received
him and asked him to to burglarizing the used to work. Green DNA testing was not a plea bargain for
provide hair samples. victim, and so-called was convicted based, commonly used in implicating Larry
The FBI determined “bite marks” on the in part, on the faulty New Jersey at that Ollins. After years in
that the suspect’s victim were linked forensic work of lab time, and Dixon’s prison, DNA testing
hairs were similar to Washington. After technician Joseph request for testing of spermatozoa and
to Fain’s. Based on serving 13 years of Serowik. After DNA was denied. An hairs found on the
that evidence, he a life sentence, DNA exonerated Green, Innocence Project victim’s body excluded
was convicted and test results vindicated the city conducted student located the all four men who
sentenced to death. Washington and the “Anthony Michael evidence in 1996, but were convicted of
Mitochondrial DNA implicated another Green Forensic it wasn’t tested until the crime. Bradford
testing eventually man, who had Laboratory Audit” of 2001, when it proved was exonerated and
revealed that the hairs committed suicide the city’s crime lab, Dixon’s innocence. initially released but
were not Fain’s, and after admitting that which has uncovered remains incarcerated
he was exonerated. he raped an elderly similar problems on unrelated charges.
woman who lived next in other cases
door to the victim in Serowik handled.
Washington’s case.

Many were denied parole because, in part,

20 | Innocence Project
CALVIN OLLINS • 2001 LARRY OLLINS • 2001 OMAR SAUNDERS • 2001 RICHARD ALEXANDER • 2001 LARRY MAYES • 2001

13.5 YEARS
13.5 YEARS
13
ILLINOIS
.5 YEARS
.................................. ..................................
ILLINOIS
..................................
ILLINOIS 5.5 YEARS
18.5 YEARS
......................................
INDIANA
...............................
INDIANA

Calvin Ollins was Together with his Omar Saunders, Richard Alexander Based solely on the
sentenced to life cousin Calvin, Larry along with Larry and was arrested in victim’s tentative
in prison without Ollins was implicated Calvin Ollins and connection with four identification of
the possibility of in a Chicago crime. Marcellius Bradford, sexual assaults in the him, Larry Mayes
parole for the rape Marcellius Bradford was convicted in South Bend area. After was convicted of
and murder of a testified that the connection with a he was in prison, a rape. Mayes had a
medical student. At two had raped and Chicago rape and fifth assault occurred. gold tooth, like the
14 years old, Calvin murdered a woman murder. In addition The fifth victim also assailant. After two
Ollins implicated while he and co- to Bradford’s false identified Alexander inconclusive lineups,
himself, Marcellius defendant, Omar confession, another as the perpetrator the victim identified
Bradford and Larry Saunders, stood witness testified when his photo was him from a photo
Ollins in the crime. watch. The four that Saunders had accidentally placed array. She later
He spent roughly teenagers were implicated himself in the photo lineup revealed that police
half his life in prison not old enough to in the crime. In — even though he had hypnotized her
before DNA testing be eligible for the December 2001, was in prison when before showing her
exonerated him. death penalty, and all four men were the crime occurred. the photos. Mayes
all but Bradford were proven innocent DNA eventually was the 100th person
sentenced to life in through DNA testing. proved Alexander’s exonerated through
prison. DNA testing innocence and post-conviction
eventually proved implicated two other DNA testing.
their innocence. men in the crimes.

they refused to “accept responsibility”


for crimes they did not commit.
www.innocenceproject.org | 21
LEONARD MCSHERRY • 2001 MARK WEBB • 2001 RICHARD DANZIGER • 2002 CHRIS OCHOA • 2002 BRUCE GODSCHALK • 2002

13 YEARS
............................................
CALIFORNIA 10 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 11 YEARS
..................................................
TEXAS 11.5 YEARS
14.5 YEARS
..................................
TEXAS
..................................
PENNSYLVANIA

A six-year-old girl Serology test Richard Danziger’s In a desperate attempt Two women in the
positively identified results could not roommate, Chris to avoid the death same apartment
Leonard McSherry exclude Mark Webb Ochoa, implicated penalty, Chris Ochoa complex were
as her rapist. The as the perpetrator Danziger in his confessed to a rape raped in 1986. One
girl also identified of a kidnapping confession to the and murder and of them identified
McSherry’s and rape, and the rape and murder also implicated his Bruce Godschalk as
grandparents’ house victim erroneously of an Austin Pizza roommate, Richard the perpetrator. His
as the scene of the identified him as the Hut employee. They Danziger. DNA testing conviction was fraught
crime. McSherry perpetrator, leading both received life excluded Ochoa while with misconduct,
maintained his to his conviction. In sentences. Years he was serving a life including a coerced
innocence and 2001, DNA testing later, another prisoner sentence. Since his confession, and after
DNA testing in proved his innocence confessed to the exoneration, Ochoa he was convicted,
2001 corroborated and he was freed. crime. The case earned a law degree prosecutors and police
his claim. was reopened, and at the University mishandled evidence
DNA tests excluded of Wisconsin and and claimed it was
Ochoa and Danziger has worked with destroyed. After almost
and incriminated the the Wisconsin 15 years in prison, and
other man. Tragically, Innocence Project. seven years fighting for
Danziger sustained DNA testing, Godschalk
brain damage from was exonerated.
attacks he suffered
while in prison.

76% were convicted


based at least in part

22 | Innocence Project
ARVIN MCGEE • 2002 VICTOR LARUE THOMAS R AY K R O NE • 2002 HECTOR GONZALEZ • 2002 ALEJANDRO DOMINGUEZ
2002 2002

12.5 YEARS
15 YEARS
..................................
OKLAHOMA
............................................
TEXAS 10 YEARS
............................................
ARIZONA 5.5 YEARS......................................
NEW YORK 4 YEARS
.........................................................
ILLINOIS

Arvin McGee In June 2001, Victor Ray Krone was said to Hector Gonazalez was Alejandro Dominguez,
was convicted of Larue Thomas was be helping a Phoenix convicted of murder in then a 16-year-old
committing a 1987 freed from prison after bartender close the a gang-related crime Mexican national,
rape in Tulsa. McGee’s DNA testing proved bar on the night of in New York City. was convicted and
first trial ended in that he did not commit her murder. Based on Serological testing sentenced to nine
a mistrial, and the a 1986 robbery, this information and on bloodstains on years in prison for
second ended in kidnapping and rape “bite-mark” analysis Gonazalez’s pants rape. His conviction
a hung jury. After of a convenience (for which police revealed that half was based primarily
the third trial, he store clerk. His asked Krone to bite the population of on the victim’s cross-
was convicted and conviction was based into a Styrofoam cup New York City could racial eyewitness
sentenced to 365 largely on the victim’s and then compared be the source of the identification. After
years in prison. His misidentification. the cup to bite blood, yet based on he was released,
sentence was later marks on the victim), this evidence and Dominguez sought
reduced to 298 Krone was convicted a witness who saw DNA testing at his
years. Finally, DNA of the crime and him at the scene of own expense and was
proved his innocence sentenced to death. the crime, he was finally exonerated
and identified the Ten years later, DNA convicted. DNA 12 years after
true perpetrator. testing exonerated testing revealed his conviction.
Krone, who is now a that the bloodstains
Pennsylvania resident came not from the
and Director of victims, but from two
Communications and other men whose
Training for Witness wounds Gonzalez
to Innocence. had been tending the
night of the crime.

on eyewitness misidentification…
www.innocenceproject.org | 23
CLARK MCMILLAN • 2002 LARRY JOHNSON • 2002 MARVIN ANDERSON • 2002 EDDIE JOE LLOYD • 2002 JIMMY RAY BROMGARD
2002

22 YEARS
.............................................
TENNESSEE 18 YEARS
............................................
MISSOURI 15 YEARS
............................................
VIRGINIA 17 YEARS
............................................
MICHIGAN 14.5 YEARS ..................................
MONTANA

Clark McMillan had After Larry Johnson An all-white jury Police officers At the age of 18,
an obvious limp at was convicted of a convicted Marvin investigating the Jimmy Ray Bromgard
the time that a rape 1984 rape, he and Anderson of rape and brutal murder of was convicted of
victim identified him the Innocence Project related charges when a 16-year-old girl rape and sentenced
as the assailant. The faced considerable he was 18 years old. interrogated Eddie to 40 years in prison.
victim’s description resistance gaining He became a suspect Joe Lloyd while he was His conviction was
of her assailant did access to evidence in the investigation a patient in a mental secured with the
not include a limp from his case for because he lived with hospital. They led hesitant eyewitness
until she testified DNA testing. Even a white woman and him to believe that by identification of
at trial. McMillan after the Innocence the victim said her confessing and getting the eight-year-old
served 22 years of a Project filed a civil attacker claimed he arrested, he would rape victim and the
119-year sentence rights lawsuit, the “had a white girl.” help them expose the fraudulent testimony
when DNA testing prosecution refused to He was exonerated real perpetrator. The of a forensic analyst
cleared his name. release the evidence. through DNA testing judge said that Lloyd (who simply invented
In 2001, the state 15 years later. Today, would have received statistics claiming that
Supreme Court ordered he owns a trucking the death penalty a hair at the crime
the Circuit Attorney’s company and lives if it were legal in scene was likely
Office to respond to the in Hanover with his Michigan. For over from Bromgard). DNA
Innocence Project’s three children. six years, Innocence testing eventually
motion. The DNA Project legal clinic proved his innocence.
test results proved students worked to
that Johnson could secure the evidence
not have been the in Lloyd’s case. Lloyd
perpetrator and he was died two years after
finally exonerated. DNA testing proved
his innocence.

And 53% of those misidentifications


were cross-racial (most commonly a

24 | Innocence Project
ALBERT JOHNSON • 2002 DOUGLAS ECHOLS • 2002 SAMUEL SCOTT • 2002 BERNARD WEBSTER • 2002 DAVID BRIAN SUTHERLIN
2002

10 YEARS
............................................
CALIFORNIA 5 YEARS
......................................................
GEORGIA 15 YEARS
............................................
ARIZONA 20 YEARS
..........................................
MARYLAND 0 YEARS
.....................................................
MINNESOTA

Albert Johnson Douglas Echols, a Samuel Scott was Bernard Webster In 1985, David
became the prime former Army officer, convicted of rape, became the first Brian Sutherlin was
suspect in a sexual was convicted of kidnapping, and person to be convicted of rape, as
assault case when kidnapping a woman robbery and served exonerated under well as two unrelated
police stopped him for outside a Savannah 15 years of a life Maryland’s post- murders. He was
speeding. He matched nightclub and sentence. He was conviction DNA sentenced to life in
the description of the restraining her while released on parole statute. Webster was prison for the murders;
assailant as a black his co-defendant, in September 2001 convicted of rape a month later, he
man driving a small Samuel Scott, raped but arrested two days after the victim and was sentenced for
white car. Two rape her. Echols was later when he failed multiple eyewitnesses the unrelated rape.
victims identified him. paroled five years to register as a sex misidentified him as In 2002, Sutherlin
Johnson studied law later. Scott contacted offender. In October the perpetrator. He was exonerated of
while incarcerated the Innocence Project, 2002, his indictment was 40 years old the rape charge
and sought DNA which helped locate was dismissed based when DNA finally after a prosecution-
testing. One of the the evidence and on DNA test results. exonerated him and initiated review led
rape kits had been secured DNA testing. he walked out of to DNA testing of the
destroyed, but the Both Echols and Scott prison; he was 18 evidence in his case,
second was located were vindicated. when he was arrested. which showed that
and subjected to another man was the
testing; Johnson was perpetrator. Sutherlin,
exonerated based who never served time
on the results. for the rape conviction
while serving his
life sentence for the
unrelated murders,
remains in prison.

white person incorrectly


identifying a black person).
www.innocenceproject.org | 25
PAULA GRAY • 2002 ANTRON MCCRAY • 2002 KEVIN RICHARDSON • 2002 YUSEF SALAAM • 2002 RAYMOND SANTANA • 2002

9 YEARS
......................................................
ILLINOIS 6 YEARS
......................................................
NEW YORK 5.5 YEARS......................................
NEW YORK 5.5 YEARS
......................................
NEW YORK 5 YEARS
......................................................
NEW YORK

Paula Gray was Antron McCray and Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam was Raymond Santana
convicted of murder, four other adolescents who was 14 years convicted of rape and falsely confessed to
rape and perjury and were convicted of old at the time, was assault in connection involvement in the
sentenced to 50 years a brutal rape in the one of five teenagers with the 1989 Central Central Park jogger
in prison in the “Ford now infamous Central convicted in the Park jogger case. case of 1989. He and
Heights Four” case. Park jogger case of attack of a Central He was the only one five other teenagers,
Then 17 years old, 1989. Years after Park jogger in 1989. of five teenagers between the ages of
her own statements their convictions, DNA Because the victim convicted who did 14 and 16 years old,
were used to secure test results matched had no memory of not give a videotaped were convicted of
her conviction and a convicted murderer the assault, police confession. In 2002, this crime. In 2002,
that of four innocent and rapist who focused on a group all five men were another man who
men — Kenneth admitted that he alone of youths who were deemed innocent had been convicted
Adams, Verneal was responsible for already in police after DNA testing of similar crimes
Jimerson, Willie the attack. None of the custody for other was conducted on confessed that he
Rainge and Dennis DNA evidence matched crimes perpetrated in several pieces of alone committed
Williams. DNA testing those wrongfully the park that night. evidence, including the Central Park
ultimately proved that convicted, and all five In 2002, all five men a rape kit and hairs jogger attack, and
none of the five were men were exonerated. were proven innocent found on the victim. all five men were
involved in the crime. through DNA testing. exonerated after DNA
testing confirmed
his admission.

In 38% of the misidentification cases,


multiple eyewitnesses identified

26 | Innocence Project
KOREY WISE • 2002 DANA HOLLAND • 2003 GENE BIBBINS • 2003 WILEY FOUNTAIN • 2003 JULIUS RUFFIN • 2003

11.5 YEARS..................................
NEW YORK 8 YEARS
......................................................
ILLINOIS 15.5 YEARS
16 YEARS
..................................
LOUISIANA
............................................
TEXAS 20 YEARS
..........................................
VIRGINIA

Korey Wise was Dana Holland was In 1987, Gene Bibbins Wiley Fountain A young nurse
one of five teenagers imprisoned for a was convicted of was convicted of identified Julius
convicted in decade for two raping a young woman aggravated sexual Ruffin, a maintenance
connection with the wrongful convictions: in the apartment assault of a pregnant worker at a medical
Central Park jogger a rape, an armed complex where he woman in the Dallas school where she was
case. He and three robbery and an lived. He became a area who had been a student, as the man
of his co-defendants attempted murder. suspect when he was abducted while who raped her several
gave videotaped On the morning of seen carrying a radio walking to a bus weeks earlier. After
confessions that the rape, officers that had been stolen stop. Fountain was two trials resulted in
differed significantly traced the suspect’s from the victim’s stopped by police hung juries, Ruffin
on key details of the footprints to Holland’s apartment. He had because his clothing was convicted and
crime. In retrospect it apartment building. found the radio on the resembled the sentenced to life.
is clear that the young The Center on premises. The victim victim’s description Over two decades
men did not know Wrongful Convictions identified him as of what her attacker later, DNA testing
where, how, or when took his case and the perpetrator after wore. Based on exonerated Ruffin
the attack took place. secured DNA testing, police drove him to DNA test results, and linked to a
In 2002, all five men which exonerated the crime scene and he was pardoned convicted rapist.
were deemed innocent Holland in 2003. He illuminated his face in March 2003.
after DNA testing. was retried for the with a flashlight. He
armed robbery and was exonerated 15
attempted murder years later, when DNA
(for which there was testing proved that
no DNA evidence) he could not have
and acquitted. committed the crime.

the same innocent person.


www.innocenceproject.org | 27
DENNIS MAHER • 2003 EDDIE JAMES LOWERY • 2003 MICHAEL MERCER • 2003 PAUL KORDONOWY • 2003 DAVID JOHNS BRYSON • 2003

19 YEARS
............................................
MASSACHUSETTS 9.5 YEARS
10.5 YEARS
13
KANSAS
YEARS
...................................... ..................................
NEW YORK
.............................................
MONTANA 16 YEARS
.............................................
OKLAHOMA

Dennis Maher, then Investigators in Michael Mercer was Paul Kordonowy was Faulty forensic
a 23-year-old Army the 1981 rape of misidentified in the exonerated for a 1990 testing contributed to
sergeant, was stopped an elderly woman rape of a 17-year-old rape conviction after David Johns Bryson’s
and questioned by questioned Eddie girl when the victim DNA testing proved his wrongful conviction
police on the night James Lowery on the saw Mercer in her innocence. At his trial, of a 1982 rape and
that a rape occurred day of the attack. building two months the former head of kidnapping. Bryson
in his town of Lowell. They denied him after the attack. In the Montana Forensic was sentenced to 85
Although no biological a lawyer, fed him 2000, DNA testing Science Laboratory, years in prison. When
evidence linked him, details of the case was finally conducted Arnold Melnikoff, Bryson sought to obtain
he was convicted of and extracted a and found a match testified falsely the biological evidence
two rapes. The New confession. Lowery’s — not to Mercer, but that hairs found at from the crime scene
England Innocence first trial ended in to a convicted rapist the crime scene for DNA testing, Joyce
Project helped secure a hung jury, but he who could not be matched Kordonowy. Gilchrist (whose work
DNA testing in his was convicted in charged because the Kordonowy remains has contributed to a
case and he was the second. After statute of limitations in prison for another number of wrongful
proven innocent. He his parole in 1991, had expired. rape charge to which convictions), falsely
is now a mechanic for Lowery financed DNA he pled guilty. reported that it had
a waste management testing in his case and been destroyed.
company, has recently was proven innocent. Bryson’s attorney
married and has two continued to probe
young children. for the evidence
and eventually
discovered that it still
existed. Bryson was
proven innocent.

52% were convicted based at least in part

28 | Innocence Project
KENNETH WYNIEMKO • 2003 MICHAEL EVANS • 2003 PAUL TERRY • 2003 LONNIE ERBY • 2003 STEVEN AVERY • 2003

8.5 YEARS ......................................


MICHIGAN 26 YEARS
..........................................
ILLINOIS 26 YEARS
..........................................
ILLINOIS 17 YEARS
................................................
MISSOURI 17.5 YEARS ..................................
WISCONSIN

A Michigan rape victim Michael Evans served Based on the false Lonnie Erby was Sixteen witnesses
told police that she 26 years of a 400- tip of a neighborhood convicted of several corroborated Steven
had little opportunity to year sentence for woman, detectives St. Louis kidnappings Avery’s alibi that
view her assailant. But the murder, rape and began asking local and rapes and he had spent the
they asked her to help kidnapping of a young African-American sentenced to 115 day shopping with
prepare a composite girl before DNA testing teenagers about the years in prison. his family when
sketch, which she exonerated him. A rape and murder Although no biological a brutal sexual
said was about 60% neighborhood woman, of a nine-year-old evidence linked him assault occurred.
accurate. Police responding to a girl. Paul Terry was to the crimes and he Nevertheless, based
targeted Kenneth reward offer of $5,000 identified in a line- had strong alibis for on the eyewitness
Wyniemko because he for helping identify up by the woman, each of them, he was misidentification of
resembled the sketch. the killer, implicated who claimed to have convicted based on a single witness and
He was convicted Evans. He and his co- been a witness to the misidentification by hair analysis, Avery
and sentenced to defendant, Paul Terry, struggle. Although her several of the victims. was convicted. DNA
40-60 years in prison. were teenagers when work timecard showed The Innocence Project testing secured by the
Nine years later, DNA they were convicted. she could not have took Erby’s case in Wisconsin Innocence
proved his innocence. witnessed the crime, 1995 and spent seven Project proved that
Today, Wyniemko — prosecutors continued years fighting for DNA Avery was innocent
joined by his Cooley their case against testing on evidence — and matched a
Innocence Project Terry and Michael in the case. Finally, in man who was in
attorneys and the Evans. The two served 2003, DNA test results prison for sexual
prosecuting attorney in a combined total of proved his innocence. assaults committed
his case — educates 52 years in prison after the one for
the public about before DNA testing which Avery was
wrongful convictions. proved them innocent. wrongfully convicted.

on improper or unvalidated forensic science.

www.innocenceproject.org | 29
CALVIN WILLIS • 2003 CALVIN LEE SCOTT • 2003 NICHOLAS YARRIS • 2003 STEPHAN COWANS • 2004 DARRYL HUNT • 2004

21.5 YEARS .................................


LOUISIANA 20 YEARS
..........................................
OKLAHOMA 21.5 YEARS.................................
PENNSYLVANIA 5.5 YEARS
18.5 YEARS
......................................
MASSACHUSETTS
..................................
N. CAROLINA

Calvin Willis was Microscopic hair Sentenced to death The victim and multiple Darryl Hunt was
convicted of raping analysis — a science in 1982 for a witnesses misidentified convicted of a 1984
a seven-year-old that is limited at rape, murder, and Stephan Cowans as the rape and murder
girl while two other best — was used to kidnapping, Nicholas man who shot a Boston despite a lack of
young girls were also convict Calvin Lee Yarris first sought police officer, and he evidence against him.
in the Shreveport Scott of a 1982 rape. DNA testing in his was convicted. Several The main prosecution
home. The children Two decades later, case in 1989. DNA items of evidence witness was a former
provided conflicting DNA testing excluded tests on evidence were later subjected Ku Klux Klansman.
descriptions of the Scott and matched from his case were to DNA testing, and In 1994, DNA testing
attacker, and their to a convicted rapist conducted throughout they all showed that excluded him, yet
memories of the who could not be the 1990s and were Cowans was innocent. state and federal
attack changed over charged due to the inconclusive. In Subsequently, courts turned down
time. Willis, who statute of limitations. 2003, a private lab officials reexamined his request for a new
was well known in conducted one last a fingerprint from trial. But when a final
the neighborhood round of DNA tests the crime scene round of DNA testing
and denied having on several items of that an expert had identified the real
anything to do with evidence — and the testified came from perpetrator, Hunt was
the crime, was finally results proved that Cowans — and the finally exonerated.
exonerated based on Yarris was innocent. new analysis revealed He now runs the
DNA testing on several He is now living in that fingerprint did Darryl Hunt Project for
pieces of evidence. England with his wife not belong to Cowans. Freedom and Justice,
The real perpetrator and young daughter. Several years after which assists innocent
was never found. his exoneration, prisoners and helps
Cowans was shot to people successfully
death in his home. reenter society after
incarceration.

21% were convicted based at least


in part on faulty microscopic hair analysis.

30 | Innocence Project
ANTHONY POWELL • 2004 JOSIAH SUTTON • 2004 LAFONSO ROLLINS • 2004 RYAN MATTHEWS • 2004 WILTON DEDGE • 2004

12 YEARS
................................................
MASSACHUSETTS 4.5 YEARS
10 YEARS
......................................
TEXAS
............................................
ILLINOIS 5 YEARS
.....................................................
LOUISIANA 22 YEARS
..........................................
FLORIDA

A man who raped a At Josiah Sutton’s Lafonso Rollins was Ryan Matthews was The prosecution
teenager in 1991 rape trial in 1999, a 17-year-old special arrested for murder at Wilton Dedge’s
demanded that she a Houston Police education student in soon after his 17th rape trial relied
meet him at the local Department crime lab the ninth grade when birthday. His friend, on eyewitness
skating rink the night employee testified he was arrested for Travis Hayes, falsely misidentification,
after the attack with that DNA from the robbery and rape confessed to the snitch testimony, hair
$100. Anthony Powell crime was an exact on the basis of a crime and implicated comparison and dog
happened to be at the match to Sutton. composite sketch. Matthews, who sniffing to secure his
rink that night and Knowing this couldn’t Rollins, whose was convicted and conviction in 1982.
the young woman be true, Sutton fought, cognitive abilities are sentenced to death. The conviction was
misidentified him as unsuccessfully, to limited, confessed The Louisiana Crisis reversed in 1983,
her attacker. He was have independent DNA to the robberies and Assistance Center but then reinstated
convicted of rape testing conducted four rapes. Years helped Matthews win in 1984. Three years
and kidnapping and during his trial. In later, DNA testing post-conviction DNA after post conviction
sentenced to 12-20 2003, an independent proved that he was testing that excluded DNA testing excluded
years in prison. When audit of the crime lab innocent and that an him. After almost five him in 2001, he was
DNA testing was uncovered extensive unknown male had years on death row, finally released.
finally conducted, problems. DNA tests committed the crimes. he was released. Dedge lives in Florida,
the judge quickly proved that Sutton During the years where he owns and
acknowledged that was innocent, and Rollins was wrongfully manages a bar.
the results proved he was exonerated. imprisoned, his
Powell’s innocence, Since his release, mother, father, sister
and he was freed. he has advocated and grandparents
for legislative had died.
reform in Texas.

Five involved improper use of DNA.


www.innocenceproject.org | 31
ARTHUR LEE WHITFIELD BARRY LAUGHMAN • 2004 CLARENCE HARRISON • 2004 DAVID ALLEN JONES • 2004 BRUCE DALLAS GOODMAN
2004 2004

22.5 YEARS
16 YEARS
17.5 YEARS
..............................
VIRGINIA
............................................
PENNSYLVANIA
..................................
GEORGIA 9 YEARS
......................................................
CALIFORNIA 19 YEARS
............................................
UTAH

Arthur Lee Whitfield When police lied Poor preservation Los Angeles police Convicted of the
was convicted of two to Barry Laughman of evidence almost investigating several rape and murder of
rapes and sentenced and told him that his prevented Clarence murders interrogated his live-in girlfriend
to 63 years in prison. fingerprints were Harrison from proving David Allen Jones, based largely
More than two found a murder scene, his innocence in a who has the mental on inconclusive
decades later, when he confessed to the 1986 rape case. After ability of an eight- forensics, Bruce
he sought DNA testing crime. Laughman’s IQ he was convicted, he year-old, for over two Dallas Goodman
that could prove his had been measured at pursued DNA testing days. After detectives maintained his
innocence, he was 70, and he was said to but was told the “reminded” Jones innocence. He
told the evidence was be functioning at the remaining evidence that he had already ultimately sought
lost forever and could level of a 10-year-old had been destroyed admitted to the the help of the
not be tested. But child. Despite serious in the early 1990s. crimes, he falsely Rocky Mountain
samples of evidence discrepancies between By 2003, the Georgia confessed and was Innocence Center,
were found in the old his confession and Innocence Project convicted. Nine and DNA testing
notebooks of a former the actual crime had helped locate years later, DNA exonerated him.
lab analyst who, (including the date), one last preserved testing proved Jones’s
against lab protocol, he was convicted slide, and it proved innocence — and
saved evidence of rape, murder and Harrison’s innocence. matched a convicted
samples in hundreds other charges in 1988 Just 18 days after his serial murderer.
of cases — which and sentenced to release from prison,
have already led to life in prison. Years Harrison married his
several exonerations. later, DNA testing of longtime girlfriend.
DNA testing on the the evidence proved
evidence exonerated his innocence.
Whitfield in 2004.

27% were convicted


based at least in part

32 | Innocence Project
DONALD WAYNE GOOD DENNIS BROWN • 2005 DONTE BOOKER • 2005 PETER ROSE • 2005 MICHAEL ANTHONY WILLIAMS
2004 2005

13.5 YEARS
19 YEARS
...............................
TEXAS
............................................
LOUISIANA 15 YEARS
............................................
OHIO 8 YEARS
.....................................................
CALIFORNIA 23.5 YEARS ..............................
LOUISIANA

Donald Wayne Good At age 17, Dennis After he was paroled, A young rape victim Just 16 years old
was convicted of rape, Brown was accused Donte Booker sought initially reported that at the time of his
based only on the of rape and confessed post-conviction she was raped by a conviction, Michael
victim’s eyewitness to the crime when a DNA testing in the stranger, until her Anthony Williams
identification. He detective threatened 1986 rape case for aunt, an estranged served nearly 24 years
continued to fight to him. The victim which he had been acquaintance of Peter of a life sentence for
prove his innocence said her attacker’s convicted. He refused Rose, suggested that aggravated rape. The
for years after he face was almost opportunities for an he had committed victim, who was his
was paroled. DNA completely covered, earlier parole because the crime. Under tutor, misidentified
testing finally led to yet she identified he would not admit interrogation, Williams, and he was
his exoneration in Brown. The Innocence to a crime he didn’t police repeatedly convicted. More than
December 2004. Project New Orleans commit. In 2005, DNA pressured the girl to two decades later,
requested DNA testing excluded him, name him, despite DNA testing proved
testing in Brown’s and his conviction her misgivings. He that he could not have
case, which proved was overturned. was convicted and committed the crime.
his innocence. He sentenced to 27 Upon his release, the
had spent over half years. With the help of Louisiana Department
of his life in prison. the Northern California of Corrections issued
Innocence Project, him a check for $10.
Rose’s innocence Williams works as
was established a security officer
through DNA testing. in Baton Rouge.

on false confessions, admissions


or guilty pleas.
www.innocenceproject.org | 33
BRANDON MOON • 2005 ANTHONY WOODS • 2005 THOMAS DOSWELL • 2005 LUIS DIAZ • 2005 LEO WATERS • 2005

17 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 18 YEARS
.............................................
MISSOURI 18.5 YEARS..................................
PENNSYLVANIA 25 YEARS
..........................................
FLORIDA 21 YEARS
.............................................
N. CAROLINA

Brandon Moon was When Anthony Woods When a rape victim Luis Diaz was A woman who
convicted of three was paroled after 18 was shown a photo convicted in 1980 had been raped in
counts of aggravated years in prison for array of possible as the “Bird Road 1981 while selling
sexual assault for a raping a teenager, he suspects, only one — Rapist.” One of the a waterbed out of
string of crimes in the immediately called Thomas Doswell’s victims identified Diaz her home identified
El Paso area where he his original public — was marked when she saw him at Leo Waters as the
was a college student. defender and obtained with the letter ‘R’, the gas station where assailant. She was
Moon was arrested an order for DNA which officers said she worked. Diaz, hypnotized in an
and convicted in testing in his case. In meant that Doswell a married father of attempt to bolster her
1988, based largely prison, he had twice had been charged three, was roughly 70 memory. In 2003,
on eyewitness failed to complete the with rape. Although pounds lighter and 7 DNA testing showed
misidentification sex offender program Doswell challenged inches shorter than that he could not
and faulty forensic because he refused to the identification her initial description. have been the rapist,
analysis. DNA testing accept responsibility at his trial, he was With the help of and two years later
proved his innocence for the crime. DNA convicted. Nearly Diaz’s son and the he was pardoned.
17 years later. Moon results cleared his two decades later, Florida Innocence
has since moved to name three years in March 2005, DNA Initiative, he was
Missouri. He is an after his release. testing proved his finally released on the
advocate for criminal innocence. He is now basis of exculpatory
justice reform. part of a band that DNA test results.
opened for B.B. King
during his 2006 tour.

And 53% of those who falsely confessed


were 17 years old or younger,

34 | Innocence Project
GEORGE RODRIGUEZ • 2005 ROBERT CLARK • 2005 CLARENCE ELKINS • 2005 JOHN KOGUT • 2005 PHILLIP LEON THURMAN
2005

17 YEARS
................................................
TEXAS 23.5 YEARS ..............................
GEORGIA 6.5 YEARS
17 YEARS
......................................
OHIO
................................................
NEW YORK 19 YEARS
............................................
VIRGINIA

George Rodriguez The perpetrator of Clarence Elkins was Through hair Phillip Leon Thurman
was at work when a a brutal 1981 rape convicted of the comparison, snitch was convicted of
14-year-old girl was and robbery stole the rape and murder of testimony and a1984 rape, abduction
raped by two Latino victim’s car. He loaned his mother-in-law John Kogut’s false and assault based
men, one of whom it to his friend, Robert and the rape of his confession—produced on eyewitness
had called the other Clark, who the victim six-year-old niece in after 18 hours of identification and
“George.” The victim then saw driving it. 1999. While he was interrogation—Kogut serology on crime
identified Rodriguez in Clark gave the man’s in prison, Elkins’ wife was convicted of the scene evidence. After
a photo array and he name to detectives, worked with a private rape and murder of a he was released on
was arrested. Based but the man was investigator to find the 16-year-old girl. John parole in 2004, he was
in part on inaccurate never charged. real perpetrator. They Restivo and Dennis required to register as
forensic analysis, Decades later, DNA learned that a convicted Halstead were also a sex offender, but he
he was convicted testing revealed rapist, who had lived convicted on the continued fighting to
and sentenced to Clark’s innocence and near the crime scene, pretense that the three prove his innocence. A
60 years in prison. implicated the man had been transferred men acted together. key piece of biological
Years later, results who loaned him the to Elkins’ cell block. Several rounds of evidence had been
of mitochondrial DNA car, who was already Elkins retrieved one DNA testing over 10 saved by a lab analyst,
testing did not match serving time on other of the man’s cigarette years excluded all whose work proved
Rodriguez, but did convictions. Clark is butts from the prison three men. After a instrumental in the
match another man. pursuing a career as yard in order to obtain retrial, Kogut was exonerations of several
a building inspector his genetic profile. finally exonerated. other Virginia prisoners.
and is engaged DNA testing cleared Thurman’s evidence
to be married. Elkins and matched was subjected to
the man Elkins and DNA testing, and he
his wife suspected. was exonerated.

or they had a developmental disability


and/or a mental illness.
www.innocenceproject.org | 35
WILLIE DAVIDSON • 2005 ENTRE NAX KARAGE • 2005 KEITH E. TURNER • 2005 DENNIS HALSTEAD • 2005 JOHN RESTIVO • 2005

12 YEARS
...............................................
VIRGINIA 6.5 YEARS......................................
TEXAS 4 YEARS
.....................................................
TEXAS 16 YEARS
............................................
NEW YORK 16 YEARS
............................................
NEW YORK

Willie Davidson Entre Nax Karage Post-conviction DNA Investigators in Together with
served 12 years for was convicted testing proved that the murder of a defendants John
the 1980 rape of of murdering his Keith E. Turner was 16-year-old girl Kogut and Dennis
an elderly female girlfriend in 1997. not the perpetrator focused, in part, Halstead, John Restivo
acquaintance of his Post-conviction DNA of a 1982 rape of a on Dennis Halstead was convicted of the
who testified that testing proved that Dallas woman. Turner who was believed to rape and murder of
he had been like he was innocent. The had been misidentified be associated with a 16-year-old girl
a grandson to her. profile obtained from both visually and by another young woman on Long Island. DNA
Davidson and his spermatozoa found on his voice. He and who had disappeared. testing proved the
family said that he the victim matched the victim worked for Together with John innocence of all three
was at home sleeping another man who was different branches of Kogut and John men in 2003, and they
when the crime previously convicted the same company Restivo, Halstead were fully exonerated
occurred. Years after of a similar crime. and came into was convicted of in 2005. The real
he was released contact when Turner rape and murder in perpetrator was
from prison, he was was transferred. 1987. After several never found. Today,
proven innocent rounds of exculpatory Restivo lives in Florida
through DNA testing DNA testing, all with his girlfriend.
of evidence that a lab three men were
analyst had saved released in 2003 and
in her notebooks. exonerated in 2005.

Nineteen pled guilty to crimes

36 | Innocence Project
ALAN CROTZER • 2006 EUGENE HENTON • 2006 ARTHUR MUMPHREY • 2006 DREW WHITLEY • 2006 DOUGLAS WARNEY • 2006

24.5 YEARS
1.5 YEARS
FLORIDA17.5 YEARS
16.5 YEARS
.............................. ..........................................
TEXAS
.................................
TEXAS
.................................
PENNSYLVANIA 9 YEARS
.....................................................
NEW YORK

Three men broke into In exchange for a Based on the If not for 39 tiny hairs Despite a lack of
a Tampa home in guilty plea, Eugene testimony of a co- stuck to a nylon mask, physical evidence,
1982 and kidnapped Henton received a defendant, Arthur Drew Whitley would Douglas Warney
and raped an adult sentence of four years Mumphrey was still be in prison. The was convicted of
woman and a 12-year- in prison for a 1984 convicted of sexual actual perpetrator, murder in 1997.
old girl, leaving them sexual assault that assault and sentenced who shot and killed Warney confessed
tied to a tree after he did not commit. to 35 years in prison. a McDonald’s night to the crime, but his
the attack. One of He was paroled a In exchange for manager in 1988, confession revealed
the victims identified year and a half later; testifying against had worn a nylon that he did not know
Alan Crotzer, who however, he returned Mumphrey, his co- mask that he shed several key facts. DNA
maintained that he to prison in 1995 on defendant received a at the scene. Over a testing exonerated
had no knowledge unrelated charges. reduced sentence of decade after Whitley him and matched a
of the crime. In He continued to fight 15 years. Eventually, initially filed for DNA convicted murderer
2003, he secured the 1984 wrongful DNA tests confirmed testing on the hairs already serving a life
DNA testing and was conviction from prison the co-defendant’s and was told they sentence in New York.
exonerated in 2006. with the help of the guilt and Mumphrey’s could not be located, Warney, who became
Dallas County Public innocence. he learned that the 39 gravely ill while he
Defender’s Office who hairs still existed and was in prison, is
helped secure DNA that he was excluded cared for by his loved
testing. Henton was as the source. ones in Rochester.
exonerated in 2006
and released in 2007.

they did not commit.

www.innocenceproject.org | 37
ORLANDO BOQUETE • 2006 WILLIE JACKSON • 2006 LARRY PETERSON • 2006 ALAN NEWTON • 2006 JAMES TILLMAN • 2006

13 YEARS
...............................................
FLORIDA 17 YEARS
.................................................
LOUISIANA 16.5 YEARS ...............................
NEW JERSEY 21 YEARS
.............................................
NEW YORK 16.5 YEARS ...............................
CONNECTICUT

Orlando Boquete, a Based on the victim’s Three witnesses Alan Newton of New James Tillman’s
Cuban immigrant, was misidentification, claimed that Larry York attended his conviction in 1989
identified by a rape Willie Jackson Peterson confessed mother’s funeral in was based almost
victim from the back was convicted and to a rape and murder, shackles. She died entirely on a cross-
of a police car parked sentenced to 40 and he was convicted shortly after his rape racial eyewitness
20 feet away, in the years for rape. Post- despite his repeated conviction in 1985. misidentification.
middle of the night. conviction DNA testing assertions of He began requesting Soon after his
He was convicted, exonerated Jackson innocence. In 2003, DNA testing in 1994, conviction, Tillman
and two years into his and implicated DNA tests established but the rape kit requested DNA testing,
sentence he escaped his brother in the his innocence but could not be located but it was not as
and lived as a fugitive rape. At the time prosecutors refused until 2005. Once it sophisticated at that
for a decade. He was of his release, his to drop charges was located, DNA time and the results
eventually recaptured brother was serving until two of the testing proved his were inconclusive.
and served another a life sentence for witnesses changed innocence. Newton In 2005, another
10 years. For a total a rape committed their previous stories. has since earned a round of testing
of 23 years he lived nine years after Finally, in 2006, he degree in business showed conclusively
as a fugitive or a Jackson’s conviction. was exonerated. He administration at that Tillman was
prisoner before DNA is fighting to have his Medgar Evers College innocent, and he
testing established record expunged. and is pursuing a was exonerated the
his innocence. Today, career in law. following year.
he lives in the Florida
Keys near many
of his relatives.

19% were convicted based


at least in part

38 | Innocence Project
JOHNNY BRISCOE • 2006 SCOTT FAPPIANO • 2006 ALLEN COCO • 2006 JAMES OCHOA • 2006 JEFFREY DESKOVIC • 2006

23 YEARS
..........................................
MISSOURI 21 YEARS
.............................................
NEW YORK 9 YEARS
.....................................................
LOUISIANA 10 MONTHS
............................................
CALIFORNIA 15.5 YEARS ...............................
NEW YORK

In 1982, a Missouri Scott Fappiano After a victim was Ten months after Based on a false
man told the woman became implicated raped and burglarized he was convicted confession extracted
he raped that his in a rape case in 1995, she of carjacking and from him at the age of
name was Johnny when the victim, a misidentified Allen armed robbery, James 16, Jeffrey Deskovic
Briscoe. The victim police officer’s wife, Coco as her attacker. Ochoa’s conviction was convicted of
would later identify identified him. At his During the attack, was vacated and the rape and murder
Briscoe in a photo second trial in 1985, she had stabbed the he was exonerated. of his 15-year-old
lineup and a live he was convicted. man in the buttocks, Though Ochoa had classmate—even
lineup. Briscoe was By chance, a piece but Coco had no already been excluded though DNA testing
the only man in the of evidence in his stab wound. Still, from the DNA excluded him. He
live lineup wearing case was discovered he was convicted evidence at the time was released years
an orange jumpsuit. in 2005 — not at and sentenced to of trial, prosecutors later when more
In 2006, DNA testing the NYPD storage life in prison without were convinced of sophisticated DNA
excluded Briscoe and facilities, but at probation or parole. his guilt. A routine testing was conducted
matched a man who LifeCodes, a private The Innocence Project run of the DNA profile and run through New
was known to Briscoe DNA laboratory. New Orleans helped from the crime scene York State’s DNA
and may have used Testing confirmed him secure DNA evidence through the database, providing a
his name in the crime. Fappiano’s innocence testing in 2005 and national DNA database match to a convicted
and he was released. he was exonerated the matched another man. felon. Since his
In 2009, Fappiano following year. Sadly, release, Deskovic has
married his high Coco died shortly graduated from Mercy
school sweetheart. after his release. College and speaks
publicly about criminal
justice reform.

on testimony from snitches or informants.


www.innocenceproject.org | 39
MARLON PENDLETON • 2006 BILLY JAMES SMITH • 2006 BILLY WAYNE MILLER • 2006 GREGORY WALLIS • 2007 LARRY FULLER • 2007

10 YEARS
...............................................
ILLINOIS 19 YEARS
.............................................
TEXAS 22 YEARS
...........................................
TEXAS 17 YEARS
.................................................
TEXAS 25 YEARS
.........................................
TEXAS

Marlon Pendleton was Billy James Smith Billy Wayne Miller An initial round of DNA Larry Fuller was the
convicted in 1996 for attempted to secure was officially testing showed that 1 10th Dallas County
a 1992 rape. Pamela DNA testing to exonerated in in 452 people had the man proven innocent
Fish, a laboratory overturn his rape December 2006 after same portion of the through DNA testing
analyst who has conviction for over DNA testing proved DNA profile shared by in just five years.
allegedly provided four years. His initial he did not commit a both Gregory Wallis The victim was raped
false testimony in attempts were denied 1984 Dallas County and the perpetrator of in her home before
at least seven other because the victim’s rape. The victim had a 1988 rape. Rather sunrise and in dim
cases that resulted boyfriend could have accepted a ride home than take a deal that lighting. She identified
in DNA exonerations, been a source of from a man in a Chevy would release him Fuller after seeing
testified at his trial semen in the rape who raped her several from prison if he his photo in two
that the biological kit—even though the times. The police would agree to be a photo lineups. Today,
evidence was victim had earlier identified Miller as life-time registered Fuller cares for his
insufficient for DNA said that she did not the son of a registered sex offender, Wallis elderly father and is
testing. In 2006, DNA have sex prior to the owner of a Chevy pushed for more pursuing a career
testing was conducted crime. After numerous with a license plate testing. Subsequent as a visual artist.
and Pendleton was appeals, DNA testing similar to the one the testing of the rape
proven innocent. was finally granted, victim remembered. kit and cigarette
and Smith was butts conclusively
proven innocent. eliminated Wallis as
the perpetrator, and
he was exonerated
in 2007.

60% were compensated (either through


state compensation laws or civil lawsuits)

40 | Innocence Project
TRAVIS HAYES • 2007 WILLIE “PETE” WILLIAMS ROY BROWN • 2007 JAMES WALLER • 2007 ANTONIO BEAVER • 2007
2007

8 YEARS
.....................................................
LOUISIANA 21.5 YEARS
15 YEARS
.................................
GEORGIA
............................................
NEW YORK 10 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 10 YEARS
............................................
MISSOURI

Travis Hayes’ co- Months after Willie Roy Brown cracked In addition to ten Antonio Beaver was
defendant, Ryan “Pete” Williams was his own case from years of wrongful convicted of first-
Matthews, was arrested based on prison. Five days after incarceration, James degree robbery in a
exonerated from the misidentification Brown mailed a letter Waller spent 13 years St. Louis carjacking
death row in 2004. of two Atlanta rape to Barry Bench, the on parole for allegedly case and sentenced
Attorneys at the victims, a series man that he suspected raping a young boy who to 18 years in prison.
Innocence Project of similar rapes to be the killer, Bench lived in his apartment Beaver’s conviction
New Orleans fought occurred. A second committed suicide development. As a was based on the
for two and a half man pled guilty and by stepping in front condition of his parole, victim’s identification
more years to win was convicted. But of an Amtrak train. he was not allowed to of him in a live
Hayes’ exoneration for Williams and his Bench’s daughter have any contact with lineup in which he
a murder that neither attorneys did not learn provided the DNA children. Even while was one of only four
man committed. of the crimes until sample that implicated volunteering through lineup members. She
DNA testing in 2004 the appeals process. him and excluded his church group to had described the
cleared Hayes Working with the Brown. Brown, who serve food to homeless assailant as having a
and Matthews and Georgia Innocence suffered from liver people, Waller had to gap in his teeth and
implicated another Project, Williams disease, received ask another volunteer Beaver was the only
man, and three years secured DNA testing. a transplant since to serve the children. one with any dental
later prosecutors The second man his release and has He was finally irregularities. DNA
announced that they matched the genetic made a full recovery. vindicated in March testing conducted
would not retry Hayes. profile in both rape 2007 when, as the on blood left by the
kits and Williams result of exculpatory perpetrator on a car
was eliminated. DNA testing, the Texas door cleared Beaver
Governor officially of the crime after ten
pardoned him. years behind bars.

for their wrongful convictions,


usually years after their release…
www.innocenceproject.org | 41
ANTHONY CAPOZZI • 2007 ANDREW GOSSETT • 2007 JERRY MILLER • 2007 CODY DAVIS • 2007 CURTIS MCCARTY • 2007

20 YEARS
.........................................
NEW YORK 7 YEARS
.........................................................
TEXAS 24.5 YEARS ..............................
ILLINOIS 5 MONTHS
......................................................
FLORIDA 21 YEARS
.............................................
OKLAHOMA

Biological evidence On the night of a Jerry Miller was Cody Davis was Multiple rounds of
stored for two decades kidnapping and rape convicted of raping a misidentified by two DNA testing showed
in a hospital drawer in Garland, Texas, woman in a parking of three eyewitnesses that Curtis McCarty
was the key to the a police officer on garage. After the as the perpetrator of a did not commit
2007 exoneration of duty noticed Andrew attack, the rapist robbery at a bar in a 1982 murder
Anthony Capozzi, a Gossett in the vicinity attempted to drive West Palm Beach. for which he was
Buffalo man who spent of the crime scene. the victim’s car out The third eyewitness sentenced to death.
20 years in prison for Consistent with the of the garage with remembered a McCarty’s wrongful
two rapes he didn’t victim’s description her in the trunk. Two tattoo on the robber’s conviction was
commit. Capozzi of the perpetrator, parking attendants hand that Davis did secured by Oklahoma
was convicted by a Gossett was wearing began questioning not have. After Davis’ City District Attorney
jury of two rapes and a plaid shirt. Gossett the assailant, and he conviction in 2006, Robert H. Macy, who
acquitted of the third was brought in the fled. A police officer, DNA testing on a has sent more people
although all three following day for a who thought that ski mask found at to death row than
victims identified him lineup and the victim Miller resembled the the crime scene any other prosecutor
in court as the attacker. identified him. He composite sketch, put exonerated him in the country, and
DNA tests in March served seven years him in a lineup and and implicated fabricated testimony
2007 showed that for the sexual assault Miller was erroneously another man who from Joyce Gilchrist, a
another man, currently before DNA evidence identified. He was subsequently forensic scientist who
awaiting trial on three exonerated him. convicted and served confessed. lied about test results.
murders, actually 24.5 years before The Innocence Project
committed the 1985 DNA testing proved represented McCarty.
attacks, known as the his innocence.
Delaware Park rapes.

The amounts of compensation ranged

42 | Innocence Project
HAROLD BUNTIN • 2007 JAMES CURTIS GILES • 2007 BYRON HALSEY • 2007 DWAYNE ALLEN DAIL • 2007 MARCUS LYONS • 2007

13 YEARS
............................................
INDIANA 10 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 19 YEARS
............................................
NEW JERSEY 18 YEARS
............................................
N. CAROLINA 2.5 YEARS ......................................
ILLINOIS

DNA testing proved Police received a Byron Halsey’s Dwayne Dail was Marcus Lyons was
Harold Buntin’s tip that one of the girlfriend’s two wrongfully convicted misidentified as the
innocence in 2005, three men who children were raped based on the victim’s perpetrator of a rape
but he endured an committed a 1982 and murdered in 1985. identification and when police showed
additional two years of Dallas gang rape was Halsey was taken into a hair comparison the victim a photo
wrongful incarceration named James Giles. police custody and analysis. The North array that included
because of a filing However, the Giles interrogated for 30 Carolina Center on Lyons’ employee
error. He became a they pursued was a hours. His responses Actual Innocence ID photo. All the
suspect in a 1984 man 10 years older to questioning worked with authorities other photos were
rape when the rape and considerably revealed that he to conduct a thorough mugshots, so Lyons’
victim saw Buntin in taller than the victim’s did not know any of search for the DNA photo stood out. He
a grocery store nearly original description the key facts of the evidence and secured tried to appeal the
four months after the of the perpetrator. crime, but he signed the post-conviction wrongful conviction,
attack and identified After many years in a confession that DNA testing that proved but his lawyer never
him to police as her prison and on parole led to his wrongful Dail’s innocence. filed the appeal.
attacker. Buntin was as a registered sex conviction. Post- Dail was finally able Lyons’ new attorney
not released until offender, DNA testing conviction DNA to reunite with his requested DNA testing
April 2007 when court exonerated James testing performed son, whose childhood on his behalf and
officials discovered Curtis Giles. Other at the request of the passed while he the results proved
a judge’s order to evidence, which was Innocence Project was incarcerated. his innocence.
exonerate him had available before the eliminated Halsey
been inappropriately 1983 trial, implicated and pointed to Clifton
placed in storage. James Earl Giles, Hall, a neighbor at the
now deceased, as time and one of the
the assailant. state’s witnesses.

from $11,200 to $12.25 million.

www.innocenceproject.org | 43
LARRY BOSTIC • 2007 CHAD HEINS • 2007 JOHN JEROME WHITE • 2007 RICKIE JOHNSON • 2008 RONALD TAYLOR • 2008

-
3 18 YEARS
11 YEARS
-
10 22 25
.5 YRS.
FLORIDA
YEARS
12 YEARS
................................... .................................................
FLORIDA
.....................
GEORGIA
.........................................
LOUISIANA
...............................................
TEXAS

DNA testing conducted Early one morning John Jerome White Rickie Johnson spent At Ronald Taylor’s trial
in 2007 proved Larry in 1994, Chad was wrongfully a quarter century in for sexual assault,
Bostic’s innocence of Heins awoke to find convicted in 1980 Louisiana’s infamous a Houston Police
the rape and robbery three fires burning of rape and released Angola prison for Department Crime
of a Fort Lauderdale in the apartment on parole in 1990 a rape he didn’t Lab analyst testified
woman in 1988. that he shared with as a sex offender. commit. A suggestive that no biological
Bostic pled guilty to his brother and Unrelated charges identification evidence was left by
avoid a possible life sister-in-law. After sent him back to procedure led the the perpetrator. Over
sentence if convicted extinguishing the prison. His parole victim to identify a decade later, DNA
at trial. He was fires, he discovered in the rape case Johnson from a testing requested
sentenced to eight that his sister-in-law was revoked, and three-photo lineup. by the Innocence
years in prison and had been murdered. his life sentence Johnson enlisted the Project identified a
released on parole Heins was charged was reinstated. The help of the Innocence stain on the victim’s
after three years. and convicted based Georgia Innocence Project to secure DNA bed sheet – in the
He was sent back to on the testimony Project secured DNA testing and prove exact spot the analyst
prison for an unrelated of two jailhouse testing and the results his innocence. On had claimed to test.
crime. Meanwhile, snitches who claimed proved that White did the first anniversary The DNA test results
Bostic fought to prove he confessed. While not commit the rape. of his exoneration, revealed the identity
his innocence of Heins was serving Johnson opened his of the real perpetrator,
the rape, filing the a life sentence, the own business, RJ who was already
handwritten motion for Innocence Project Leather, which is incarcerated for sex
DNA testing that led assisted him in based in Leesville. crimes. Taylor married
to his exoneration. securing DNA testing, his longtime fiancée
which exonerated him. soon after his release.

Those who were

44 | Innocence Project
KENNEDY BREWER • 2008 CHARLES CHATMAN • 2008 NATHANIEL HATCHETT • 2008 DEAN CAGE • 2008 THOMAS MCGOWAN • 2008

7 YEARS
.........................................................
MISSISSIPPI 26.5 YEARS
10 YEARS
..............................
TEXAS
............................................
MICHIGAN 11.5 YEARS ..................................
ILLINOIS 23 YEARS
.........................................
TEXAS

Post-conviction Charles Chatman lived Nathaniel Hatchett Chicago police An improper eyewitness
DNA test results near a woman who became a suspect in received an identification procedure
from 2001 proved was raped in Dallas a rape and robbery anonymous tip that contributed to
Kennedy Brewer didn’t County in 1981. because he was driving Dean Cage resembled Thomas McGowan’s
rape and murder his The two didn’t know the stolen car of the the composite sketch wrongful conviction
girlfriend’s three- each other, but she rape victim. He and of a rapist. Police took of aggravated sexual
year-old daughter, identified him as her some friends had found the 15-year-old victim assault and burglary.
but prosecutors kept assailant from a photo the abandoned car but to Cage’s workplace With the assistance of
him incarcerated lineup. Chatman was knew nothing about the and she identified the Innocence Project,
awaiting trial for years wrongfully convicted crime; nevertheless, the him. Cage maintained DNA testing proved
before an Innocence and sentenced to 99 17-year-old Hatchett his innocence and McGowan’s innocence
Project investigation years in prison. He confessed believing that with the help of the and identified the real
identified the real was denied parole he would be released Innocence Project, perpetrator. Since his
perpetrator of the three times because if he cooperated with he was eventually exoneration, McGowan
1992 crime. Brewer he refused to admit police. Pre-trial DNA exonerated through has met with both the
ultimately served guilt. With the help testing excluded him DNA testing. He has rape survivor and the
seven years on death of the Innocence as the perpetrator, since reunited with original investigating
row and eight years Project of Texas and but because of his fiancée, who officer on his case,
in jail awaiting trial. Judge John Creuzot, prosecutorial stood by him during and the three of them
who championed misconduct, Hatchett his years of wrongful now speak publicly
his case, Chatman was convicted anyway. incarceration. about the need to
proved his innocence The Cooley Innocence reform eyewitness
through DNA testing. Project helped identification
vindicate Hatchett procedures.
through DNA testing.

compensated waited, on average,


over three years to receive it.
www.innocenceproject.org | 45
MICHAEL BLAIR • 2008 ROBERT MCCLENDON • 2008 PATRICK WALLER • 2008 ARTHUR JOHNSON • 2008 STEVEN PHILLIPS • 2008

13.5 YEARS
17 YEARS
15.5 YEARS
TEXAS 15.5 YEARS
............................... .................................................
OHIO
...............................
TEXAS
...............................
MISSISSIPPI 24 YEARS
.........................................
TEXAS

Michael Blair was When a 10-year-old In 1992, four people Arthur Johnson was During a six-week
wrongfully convicted girl was abducted were abducted and convicted entirely crime spree in 1982,
and sentenced to death from her backyard in robbed and one on the basis of an armed perpetrator
in the high-profile Columbus and raped victim was raped. the rape victim’s broke into Dallas
murder of seven-year- in 1990, she believed Three of the victims identification. In health clubs and other
old Ashley Estelle in that Robert McClendon, and a Dallas police 2005, the Innocence facilities and sexually
Plano. Post-conviction her biological father, officer misidentified Project New Orleans threatened groups
DNA testing showed was the perpetrator. Patrick Waller as the sought DNA testing of women. As police
that hairs found in The victim had only perpetrator. Although in Johnson’s case. focused on Steven
Blair’s car did not seen McClendon once a second man was The DNA test results Phillips as a suspect,
belong to the victim before in her life. involved in the crimes, confirmed Johnson’s they ignored evidence
and that tissue under McClendon’s requests only Waller was innocence, but the implicating another
the victim’s fingernails for DNA testing went charged and convicted. prosecutors insisted man, Sidney Alvin
did not belong to ignored for years until Waller’s case was that the eyewitness Goodyear. Phillips was
Blair. Prosecutors the Columbus Dispatch reviewed years later identification wrongfully convicted
dropped the charges newspaper and the by the Dallas District was accurate and of 11 crimes; only one
against him. Blair’s Ohio Innocence Project Attorney’s Office planned to re-try involved DNA evidence.
exoneration moved him secured DNA testing. Conviction Integrity him. Fortunately, DNA testing on this
off death row, but he is The results proved Unit. DNA testing a DNA database evidence excluded
currently serving three his innocence. cleared Waller and hit implicated a Phillips’ and implicated
life terms in prison implicated another known sex offender Goodyear. Prosecutors
for unrelated crimes. man, who confessed and Johnson was determined that
The real perpetrator and revealed the finally exonerated. Goodyear committed all
has evaded justice. identity of his 11 crimes and Phillips
accomplice. was exonerated.

The true perpetrator was identified

46 | Innocence Project
JOSEPH WHITE • 2008 WILLIAM DILLON • 2008 STEVEN BARNES • 2009 RICARDO RACHELL • 2009 KATHY GONZALEZ • 2009

19 YEARS
............................................
NEBRASKA 26 YEARS
.........................................
FLORIDA 19.5 YEARS ...............................
NEW YORK 5.5 YEARS......................................
TEXAS 5 YEARS
.....................................................
NEBRASKA

Four years after an Days after a brutal Steven Barnes was Although DNA testing Kathy Gonzalez was
elderly woman was murder at Canova questioned by police was available at Ricardo wrongfully convicted
raped and murdered Beach, police for over 12 hours about Rachell’s trial, it was in the so-called
in Beatrice, three men questioned beach- the murder of 16-year- not performed. Instead, Beatrice Six case.
and three women were goers in the area old Kimberly Simon in prosecutors relied on Gonzalez and four of
wrongfully convicted of including William 1985. Two years later, the identification of her co-defendants pled
the crime. Five of the Dillon. An “expert” Barnes was charged the young rape victim guilty to involvement
six falsely confessed with a scent-tracking based on faulty and his friend. Rachell in the crime. The real
and/or pled guilty. dog linked Dillon to forensic evidence that was recognizable perpetrator, Bruce
Joseph White, who the scene. Prosecutors hair, soil samples and for having a distinct Allen Smith, was
allegedly raped the bolstered their case fabric print patterns facial deformity. eliminated as a suspect
victim, refused to with the questionable linked him to the While incarcerated, at the time because
confess and was found eyewitness crime. Based on scant Rachell attempted a forensic technician
guilty of first-degree identification of a evidence, he was to notify authorities erroneously reported
murder. In late 2007, legally blind man and convicted. Barnes that a string of similar that testing excluded
DNA testing proved the testimony of two became one of the sexual assaults were him. Years later, DNA
that he and his five informants including Innocence Project’s still occurring in his testing implicated
co-defendants had a jailhouse snitch and first clients, but initial old neighborhood. Smith and exonerated
nothing to do with the Dillon’s ex-girlfriend. rounds of DNA testing Five years later, Gonzalez and her
crime, and White was Years later, the were inconclusive. DNA testing proved five co-defendants.
soon exonerated. Innocence Project Years later, the Rachell’s innocence
of Florida helped Innocence Project and implicated a
Dillon clear his name secured DNA testing man who was serving
through DNA testing. that finally proved time for commiting
Barnes’ innocence. similar crimes.

in 42% of the exoneration cases.

www.innocenceproject.org | 47
JAMES DE AN • 2009 DEBRA SHELDEN • 2009 THOMAS WINSLOW • 2009 ADA JOANN TAYLOR • 2009 JOSEPH FEARS, JR. • 2009

5 YEARS
.....................................................
NEBRASKA 5 YEARS
.....................................................
NEBRASKA 18.5 YEARS
19 YEARS
...............................
NEBRASKA
.............................................
NEBRASKA 25 YEARS
.........................................
OHIO

James Dean falsely In exchange for a A car similar to Ada JoAnn Taylor Joseph Fears was
confessed to being lighter sentence, Debra the one driven by agreed with convicted of rape in
involved in the Shelden, a relative of Thomas Winslow was prosecutors to plead 1984. Years later,
1985 murder of murder victim Helen apparently seen near guilty to involvement his conviction was
an elderly woman. Wilson, pled guilty the home of Helen in a 1985 rape and reviewed by the Ohio
Dean said that most to involvement in Wilson on the night murder case. She Innocence Project
of his recollection the crime. Shelden that she was raped falsely testified that and the Columbus
of the crime came testified that she tried and murdered. Four she held a pillow over Dispatch. Biological
from dreams. Post- to intervene but was years later, Winslow the elderly victim’s evidence in the case
conviction DNA struck down. She was was incarcerated on an face while her co- was finally located
testing implicated wrongfully convicted unrelated incident and defendants raped the after repeated
the real perpetrator, of second-degree questioned by police victim. DNA testing searches, and DNA
who acted alone. murder. Shelden was about the Wilson later implicated the testing proved
Soon after, Dean and paroled in 1995 and murder. Winslow real perpetrator, his innocence.
his co-defendants exonerated in 2009 was wrongfully who had been a
became the first after DNA testing convicted along with leading suspect in the
people exonerated implicated another two other men and original investigation.
through DNA testing man, now deceased, three women. DNA Taylor and her
in Nebraska history. and cleared her and testing established five co-defendants
her co-defendants. that only one man, were exonerated.
since deceased, had
committed the crime
and Winslow and
his co-defendants
were exonerated.

In 58% of the exoneration cases,


the true perpetrator

48 | Innocence Project
MIGUEL ROMAN • 2009 VICTOR BURNETTE • 2009 TIMOTHY COLE • 2009 JOHNNIE LINDSEY • 2009 CHAUNTE OTT • 2009

18.5 YEARS ...............................


CONNECTICUT 8 YEARS
.....................................................
VIRGINIA 13 YEARS
.............................................
TEXAS 27 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 12.5 YEARS ...............................
WISCONSIN

In 1988, Miguel After Victor Burnette’s Timothy Cole died The victim of a 1981 Two informants, who
Roman was charged release on parole in in prison of heart Dallas rape identified were themselves
with murdering a 1987, he contacted a complications caused Johnnie Lindsey as suspects in a 1995
pregnant woman. state forensic lab to by asthma in 1999 her attacker from a murder, testified
His interrogation and obtain DNA testing, while serving a 25- six-photo lineup that against Chaunte Ott
trial were mostly in but he was told that year sentence for rape. police mailed to her. and contributed to his
English, a language all the evidence had He was wrongfully She described her wrongful conviction.
he barely spoke. DNA been destroyed. Years convicted based on attacker as shirtless, DNA testing obtained
evidence eliminated later, evidence from the victim’s mistaken and Lindsey and only with the assistance
him as a suspect dozens of cases was identification. Several one other man in the of the Wisconsin
before the trial, yet uncovered in the years after the rape, lineup were pictured Innocence Project
he was convicted and files of the forensic Jerry Wayne Johnson shirtless. Despite excluded Ott and
sentenced to 60 years analyst who testified wrote to police presenting a strong revealed that the
in prison. In 2008, at Burnette’s rape trial. and prosecutors to alibi that he was at real perpetrator
with the help of the DNA testing cleared confess to the crime. work the day the crime committed two other
Connecticut Innocence Burnette, making him His confession was occurred, Lindsey was sexual assaults and
Project, DNA testing one of six people to unacknowledged wrongfully convicted murders while Ott
showed that a be exonerated based until 2009 when DNA and sentenced to was incarcerated.
registered sex offender on DNA testing of testing cleared Cole life in prison. The
committed the crime. evidence found in and implicated Johnson Innocence Project of
the analyst’s files. as the perpetrator. The Texas helped Lindsey
victim, Michele Mallin, prove his innocence
joined Cole’s family in through DNA testing.
seeking his posthumous
exoneration.

was never identified.

www.innocenceproject.org | 49
ROBERT LEE STINSON • 2009 JOSEPH ABBITT • 2009 LAWRENCE MCKINNEY • 2009 JAMES LEE WOODARD • 2009 KENNETH IRELAND • 2009

23 YEARS
.........................................
WISCONSIN 14 YEARS
.............................................
N. CAROLINA 31 YEARS
..............................................
TENNESSEE 27 YEARS
.............................................
TEXAS 19.5 YEARS ...............................
CONNECTICUT

Robert Lee Stinson Joseph Abbitt was A neighbor misidentified James Lee Woodard Kenneth Ireland was
was arrested for wrongfully convicted Lawrence McKinney was wrongfully only 20 years old
the murder of his for the rapes of two as one of two men who convicted for the when he was charged
62-year-old neighbor teenage sisters at sexually assaulted her, murder of his with the sexual
when police noticed knifepoint. Abbitt, a and he was wrongfully girlfriend. The assault and murder of
that his missing former neighbor and convicted of the rape prosecution withheld a mother of four. Two
tooth resembled the an occasional visitor in 1978. A rape kit key evidence, so the witnesses implicated
dentition of a bite to the victims’ home, was collected, but jury never learned Ireland and two other
mark on the victim’s was identified as the DNA testing was not that the victim was men in the crimes,
body. Based largely attacker in a photo available at the time. seen with three but only Ireland was
on the testimony of lineup. Preliminary DNA testing conducted other men the night charged. Ireland
two forensic dentists, DNA testing did on the rape kit proved she died (including denied the claims.
Stinson was sentenced not match him; his innocence three two who were later Despite the lack of
to life in prison. Years nevertheless, Abbitt decades later. convicted of sexual evidence against him,
later, DNA testing of was sentenced to assault crimes). Over he was convicted
the saliva excluded two life sentences a quarter-century and sentenced to
Stinson, and he was plus an additional later, Woodard was 50 years in prison.
fully exonerated 110 years. Abbitt was finally exonerated by The Connecticut
with the help of the assisted by the North DNA testing with the Innocence Project
Wisconsin Innocence Carolina Center on help of the Innocence helped secure DNA
Project. He spent over Actual Innocence in Project of Texas. testing that proved
half his life in prison. proving his innocence his innocence.
through DNA testing.

If the true perpetrator had been


originally convicted, instead of an

50 | Innocence Project
JERRY LEE EVANS • 2009 MICHAEL MARSHALL • 2009 JAMES BAIN • 2009 DONALD EUGENE GATES • 2009 FREDDIE PEACOCK • 2010

22 YEARS
............................................
TEXAS 1.5 YEARS
..........................................
GEORGIA 35 YEARS
.........................................
FLORIDA 27 YEARS
...............................................
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 5.5 YEARS ......................................
NEW YORK

In 1986, two college Police officers James Bain spent more An FBI forensic analyst When a Rochester
students were investigating an armed years in prison for a testified at Donald neighbor of Peacock’s
abducted at knifepoint robbery thought that crime he didn’t commit Eugene Gates’ murder was raped, she
and one of them Michael Marshall, than any other person trial that hairs found misidentified Peacock
was raped. Jerry Lee a homeless man exonerated through at the crime scene as the assailant.
Evans was said to discovered sleeping DNA testing in the were “microscopically He was arrested
match the attacker’s in an apartment United States. He was indistinguishable” and interrogated,
physical description hallway, resembled wrongfully convicted from Gates’ hairs. The and police claimed
and to have a similar the composite sketch of the 1974 rape of exaggerated testimony that he confessed.
speech impediment. of the perpetrator. a young boy based helped secure Gates Peacock told police
Police encouraged Marshall pled guilty on an eyewitness wrongful conviction. that he had a history
the rape victim to in exchange for a misidentification. Years later, the analyst of mental illness and
select Evans from a four-year sentence He requested DNA was discredited, but had been hospitalized
photo lineup, and he and served nearly testing from the state Gates continued to be several times. He was
was subsequently two years before the for years, but he was wrongfully imprisoned. wrongfully convicted
convicted and Georgia Innocence repeatedly denied. At The Public Defender in 1976 and spent
sentenced to life in Project helped prove the age of 54, Bain Service for the over five years in
prison. After over 20 his innocence through was finally proven District of Columbia prison. Twenty-eight
years of wrongful DNA testing. The real innocent with the helped him prove his years after he was
imprisonment, perpetrator has been help of the Innocence innocence through paroled, Peacock
DNA testing proved identified through a Project of Florida. DNA testing. Gates was became the 250th
Evans’ innocence. DNA database hit. freed and officially person exonerated
exonerated in the through DNA testing.
final weeks of 2009.

innocent person, at least 72 violent crimes


could have been prevented.
www.innocenceproject.org | 51
THE QUESTION NOBODY CAN ANSWER
We may never know how many innocent people are in prison.1 Instead,
we ask how many more will have to be exonerated through the hard science
of DNA before every jurisdiction in the country enacts reforms that can
prevent this injustice in the first place.

The individuals in this booklet are the first 250 proven innocent through DNA
testing—and there will surely be many more, as the Innocence Project and other
organizations in the Innocence Network continue exonerating people nationwide.

We do know that those who are exonerated by DNA are a subset within a
subset—a fraction of cases that have evidence that still exists and can yield
DNA results, within the tiny fraction of cases that even have DNA evidence as
part of the crime.

Very few cases involve physical evidence that could be subjected to DNA
testing (for example, it is estimated that, even among murders, only 10% of
cases have such evidence).

The Innocence Project receives more than 3,000 letters per year from
prisoners nationwide and, combined, organizations in the Innocence Network
receive many more. At any given time, the Innocence Project is actively
evaluating 6,000 to 8,000 cases. Approximately 22% of DNA cases that are
ultimately closed by the Innocence Project are closed because the evidence
has been lost or destroyed.

By the time they write to the Innocence Project or another organization,


innocent prisoners have lost multiple appeals and have spent years incarcerated
for crimes they did not commit. Many of them have concluded, understandably,
that the truth will never come to light, so they do not seek help.

1
Recent research sheds some light on that number, however. Professor Samuel Gross of the University of Michigan has calculated that 2.3% of all
prisoners sentenced to death between 1973 and 1989 were exonerated and freed; the total number who were actually innocent is almost certainly
higher. Professor Michael Risinger of Seton Hall Law School estimates that between 3.3% and 5% of defendants sentenced to death for murders
involving rape between 1982 and 1989 were innocent. And an initial review of 29 rape convictions with untested DNA from the files of the Virginia
Department of Forensic Science found two false convictions, or 7%. There are over two million inmates in American jails and prisons. If as few as 1%
are innocent, that would mean we are keeping more than 20,000 innocent men and women behind bars – and the true number may be much higher.

52 | Innocence Project
T
he Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and
Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva
University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing.
To date, 250 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing,
including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13
years in prison before exoneration and release. The Innocence Project’s full-time
staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provided direct representation or critical
assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of
DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful
convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects.
Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of
Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free
the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring
substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

Photo Credits

Centurion Ministries Center on Wrongful Jennifer Linzer Mark Graham


8. Richard Johnson Convictions 21. Larry Mayes 36. Entre Nax Karage
9. Steven Toney 2. Gary Dotson
15. AB Butler 3. Steven Linscott Kim A. Marks Bill Farrington
19. Danny Brown 8. Kenneth Adams 23. Arvin McGee 39. Scott Fappiano
9. Willie Rainge
The Innocents: Photographs 23. Alejandro Dominguez © Dan Gair/Blind Dog © Greg Kendall-Ball
by Taryn Simon 26. Paula Gray Photo, Inc. 43. James Curtis Giles
4. Walter Snyder 27. Dana Holland 6. David Shephard
5. Brian Piszczek 29. Michael Evans 9. Frederic Saecker Greg Pearson/ Pearson
6. Ronald Cotton 40. Marlon Pendleton 10. Anthony Hicks Photography
12. Timothy Durham 15. Herman Atkins 44. Rickie Johnson
13. Ron Williamson Dona Ann McAdams with 22. Chris Ochoa
14. Habib Wahir Abdal George Castelle 24. Clark McMillan Reprinted with permission
16. Larry Youngblood 3. Glen Woodall 24. Marvin Anderson from the Omaha World Herald
17. Roy Criner 6. William Harris 25. Samuel Scott 47. Joseph White
17. James O’Donnell 7. Gerald Davis 29. Kenneth Wyniemko 47. Kathy Gonzalez
20. Charles Irvin Fain 7. Dewey Davis 32. Clarence Harrison 48. Thomas Winslow
20. Calvin Washington 14. James Richardson 34. Brandon Moon 48. James Dean
20. John Dixon 15. Larry Holdren 35. Robert Clark 48. Ada JoAnn Taylor
22. Richard Danziger 38. Orlando Boquete
23. Hector Gonzalez Rachel Morrison 38. James Tillman The Columbus Dispatch/ Shari
25. Douglas Echols 5. Frederick Daye 40. Gregory Wallis Lewis
7. Vincent Moto 41. James Waller 48. Joseph Fears, Jr.
Loren Santow/ 17. Anthony Robinson
The Illinois Death Penalty 19. Eduardo Velasquez Francisco Kjolseth/ Lincoln Journal-Star
Education Project 24. Larry Johnson Reprinted with permission of 48. Debra Shelden
7. Rolando Cruz 24. Eddie Joe Lloyd The Salt Lake Tribune
7. Alejandro Hernandez 25. Albert Johnson 32. Bruce Dallas Goodman The Hartford Courant/ Patrick
8. Verneal Jimerson Raycraft
Voice of Innocence Susan Rutberg 49. Miguel Roman
Springfield News-Leader 19. Ulysses Rodriguez Charles 33. Peter Rose
16. Armand Villasana 29. Paul Terry

1 | Innocence Project
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100 FIFTH AVENUE, 3RD FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10011
WWW.INNOCENCEPROJECT.ORG

BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW,


YESHIVA UNIVERSITY