Friday, May 13, 2011

Texas Man Exonerated by DNA

A Texas man was freed Thursday after DNA exoneration in the latest Innocence Project victory and highlights the dangers of eyewitness misidentification. In 1984, two girls under the age of sixteen were on their way home from a store in their Dallas neighborhood when they were approached by a man wielding a gun. He took the girls to a nearby field and said he would shoot them if they did not comply and proceeded to tie them up and rape them. After the rape, the girls went to a nearby house where they called police. They were taken to the hospital and were later shown photo montages where they picked Johnny Pinchback out of the photos. Mr. Pinchback insisted he was innocent, however he was convicted in trial and was sentenced to 99 years imprisonment.

Mr. Pinchback never gave up and thanks to DNA evidence and the Innocence Project of Texas, he was determined to be innocent and will be released. Dallas County District Attorney had this to say:

"Thanks to the thorough investigation by our Conviction Integrity Unit and the continuous advances in DNA technology, Johnny Pinchback will regain his freedom as we have concluded that he did not commit this crime," Watkins says in a prepared statement. "As always, we seek justice on legitimate post-conviction claims of innocence to ensure we get to the truth, and when the truth reveals that an individual was wrongfully convicted, we take action to correct that injustice."

Pinchback, who is now 55, will become the 26th wrongfully imprisoned Dallas County man given his freedom in the past decade -- and the 22nd cleared by DNA evidence since 2001.

Full story here

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