DNA Exonerates Man Convicted of Rape and Murder

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Clarence was arrested out of the blue for the rape and murder of his mother-in-law and the attempted murder, assault, and rape of his six-year-old niece. He steadfastly maintained his innocence but was convicted and sentenced – until DNA evidence revealed the truth.

“After seven years being incarcerated,” Clarence recalls, “I was told by my wife then, that possibly the actual perpetrator was in the same prison I was.” If Clarence could obtain a DNA sample from the man, it might prove to be key evidence. Clarence learned who the man was and got the butt of a cigarette he’d smoked. The DNA on the cigarette proved to be a 99.9-percent match with DNA evidence from the crime scene.

Watch: How Wrongful Convictions Happen

Clarence’s then-wife contacted the Ohio Innocence Project. “It took them to straighten this mess out,” Clarence says. In the meantime, the DNA evidence linking the crime to his fellow prisoner was mentioned on TV – Clarence was moved to solitary confinement for his own safety, where he remained for three months “Until I finally walked out of the prison for good.”

The actual perpetrator was charged with crimes, pled guilty, and is now serving 55 years to life – the same length as Clarence’s original sentence. Now Clarence has joined Mark Godsey of the Ohio Innocence Project to lobby for judicial reforms to help prevent wrongful convictions.

Watch: Life After a Wrongful Conviction

To read more about the stories of Ricky, Nancy and Clarence, and to learn about wrongful conviction and its causes, read Mark Godsey's Blind Injustice, a best-selling new release on Amazon.com. Join the Blind Injustice Facebook Group, here.

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