Category Archives: Innocence Project

Calif. man free after DNA site leads to new arrest in murder

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — California authorities used recently developed DNA techniques to free one man and implicate another for only the second time in the United States, officials said Thursday.
A man who spent about 15 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in the slaying of his housemate has been exonerated after authorities used extended DNA links developed through publicly available genealogical websites to build a family tree that led to the arrest of a new suspect.

DNA evidence exonerates New York City man for 1985 sex assault

After spending a full 25-year sentence in prison for a crime he did not commit, a Bronx, New York, man was exonerated by the first prosecutorial conviction review unit on the East Coast.

Thanks to a new DNA analysis, a man is exonerated of rape and freed from prison after 17 years

(CNN) — A Georgia man who served 17 years of a 20-year sentence has been exonerated from his rape conviction and released from prison, after a judge agreed that new analysis of DNA evidence clears him.
Kerry Robinson, 44, walked out of prison in southern Georgia on Wednesday and into the arms of his sister, his son and other supporters, hours after a Colquitt County judge vacated his 2002 conviction and sentence.

New Oregon Law Opens Up Process For Post-conviction DNA Testing

A new law that took effect on Jan. 1 will allow better access to post-conviction DNA testing for people who say they’ve been wrongfully convicted of aggravated murder and other serious crimes.
The new measure amends statutes previously introduced in 2015 that said someone requesting a DNA test would have to show that specific evidence would lead to finding that they were “actually innocent,” in effect having to vouch for their innocence before DNA could even be tested.

Man free after serving 9-years for a crime he didn’t commit

The Innocence Project of Texas did agree to examine his case, and contacted a DNA analysis firm to look at the evidence. They found the initial DNA profile was incorrect, and matched it to a man who had gone on to commit more crimes while Grant was in prison.
“It’s the first time to my knowledge a non-law enforcement project such as the Innocence Project of Texas has cracked the case, by initiating a nationwide DNA database search,” said Mike Ware, with the Innocence Project.

Oregon Man’s Manslaughter Conviction Overturned Due To Undisclosed DNA Evidence

It was the year 2000 in the Oregon coast town of Coquille when 15-year-old Leah Freeman went missing and was soon after found dead.
The case went cold for almost a decade before Nicholas McGuffin, Freeman’s boyfriend at the time of her death, was indicted for her murder, without any evidence connecting him to the crime.

Manitoba man sues provincial government for wrongful conviction and imprisonment in teen girl’s death

Manitoba prosecutors relied on “scientifically corrupt” DNA evidence to wrongly convict a man in a decades-old child murder, and kept him behind bars even after they were given overwhelming evidence that it was faulty, his lawyers say in an $8.5-million lawsuit against the province, the individual prosecutors and Winnipeg police.

DNA testing could exonerate man 13 years after he was executed for rape, murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – If Sedley Alley was unfairly denied DNA testing from a 1985 crime scene and then executed, he’d be the only person in the state of Tennessee to suffer such a fate, argued Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, in court Monday.
“Only he,” Scheck said. “He is in a class of one.”

A decades-old rape test sent him to prison. Then his high school girlfriend saw an old photograph.

The discovery horrified Detroit, and the nation: More than 11,000 rape kits were sitting untested in a police warehouse, in some cases gathering dust for decades before prosecutors stumbled upon the boxes in 2009.
One in particular had been collected in November 1997, when a 15-year-old girl came to police with a harrowing tale. After she left a store on Detroit’s east side, she said, a stranger lunged at her. He put a gun to her head and covered her head with a rag, then dragged her into an alleyway, where he raped her. A nurse performed a sexual assault examination, but the evidence went untouched for nearly two decades, until the untested rape kits became a national scandal. In 2015, prosecutors working their way through the backlog finally sent it out for testing.

Ohio Innocence Project fights for eight years to free Milford man imprisoned for robbery

CINCINNATI — At 38, Kevin Thornton is trying to start a new life.
After serving 11 1/2 years in prison for a robbery he says he didn’t commit, he was transferred to an Over-the-Rhine halfway house in June.
The transition to freedom has been overwhelming.

‘It’s essentially junk:’ $7.5M bite mark settlement underscores national call for better forensic evidence

MILWAUKEE — He spent 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Now, a Milwaukee man is finally getting justice for a conviction based on flawed evidence. His long-awaited day in court came amid a national effort to put forensic science on trial.
For decades, television shows have conditioned people to believe that people can pinpoint a criminal suspect with a shoe print, tire mark, or a single strand of hair, and they can do it with absolute certainty. However, the advent of DNA technology has proven that other forensic disciplines, once thought to be bulletproof, are susceptible. Those errors have put hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people in prison.

In an Apparent First, Genetic Genealogy Aids a Wrongful Conviction Case

It started as a way to trace family history. It evolved into a tool to help solve decades-old cold cases. Now, for apparently the first time, a genealogy database is expected to lead to charges being dropped against an Idaho man convicted in a decades-old rape and murder case.

Snoop Dogg joins SVU star Ice-T in calling for Delaware County District Attorney to allow DNA testing that could overturn murder conviction

One of America’s most recognizable faces, Snoop Dogg, sent a powerful message to Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland Monday, intensifying the push to give a Chester man who has been sitting in prison for over 39 years a DNA test.

Two men from Texas wrongfully convicted of stabbing a man to death declared innocent after 19 years

After nearly two decades of being wrongfully convicted, two men from Texas are finally seeing their day in the sun. Stanley Mozee and Dennis Lee Allen have been declared “actually innocent” as of May 11, 2019 after being wrongfully convicted of murder in 2000. Although there was no physical evidence that connected them to the murder, they were still convicted and sentenced to a life imprisonment.

Family of executed man seeks to have DNA in case tested

April Alley watched as her father was executed by lethal injection in 2006 for raping and murdering a 19-year-old Marine in 1985.
Now, she is fighting to find out if her father, Sedley Alley, committed the crime. She has petitioned Shelby County Criminal Court to test the DNA evidence in the case. The petition for post-conviction testing of the DNA was filed April 30.
The case is a first of its kind, using DNA evidence in an attempt to clear someone already executed.