Today is the sixth anniversary of Arvin McGee’s exoneration in Oklahoma. McGee served more than 12 years in prison for a brutal rape he didn’t commit. In 1989, two years after the crime, McGee was convicted and sentenced to more than 200 years in prison.
McGee’s conviction rested primarily on the victim’s eyewitness testimony. The victim identified McGee from a photo array four months after the crime took place. Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing.
Read more about eyewitness misidentification here
McGee’s case was eventually taken by the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, which secured DNA testing of the evidence. The results conclusively excluded McGee from the crime and he was exonerated and freed from prison in February 2002, after serving more than 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
During the same year of McGee’s exoneration, Oklahoma officials revealed that the DNA evidence gathered from the crime scene implicated another man, Edward Alberty, in the crime. Alberty was already serving time for another crime.
Read more about Arvin McGee’s case here