Thursday, May 19, 2011

DNA Evidence Clears Dallas Man After 27 Years

He said he didn’t commit the crime, and DNA proof set him free.
Johnny Pinchback was released from prison after 27 years. He’s the 22nd person cleared by DNA in Dallas County.

With a roar of applause from friends and family, Johnny Pinchback is a free man. But his story starts 27 years ago, on Illinois Street in Oak Cliff.

Two girls were adbucted and raped. Because the girls picked Pinchback out of a photo line-up, he was put away for 99 years.

But Pinchback won’t complete that sentence. Thanks to DNA evidence, he was cleared of the crime, and with the simple words from the judge he can start to get his life back to normal.

“Mr. Pinchback, you’re free to go,” said Judge Don Adams.

“I’m feeling love. I feel good,” said Pinchback.

In 2007, the Innocence Project of Texas received a letter from Pinchback claiming he didn’t do the crime.

“He went on our waiting list, just like every other individual that applies to our organization,” said Natalie Roetzel, Chief Staff Attorney.

There were over 1,000 people on that waiting list ahead of him, and two years later, the project launched a formal investigation.

“We finally got to it, we realized it was perfect for DNA testing,” said Roetzel.

There was little evidence in the case and there was a possibility the DNA testing wouldn’t even clear his name. But Pinchback never gave up, especially when he witnessed other prisoners being released for crimes they didn’t commit.

Full article at KDAF can be found here.

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