Today marks the third anniversary of Brandon Moon’s exoneration in Texas. He was wrongfully convicted of a brutal rape in 1988 and sentenced to 75 years in prison. He served more than 16 years in prison before DNA testing proved his innocence and led to his release.
Moon became the main suspect after the victim viewed a photographic array and indicated that although Moon looked like the perpetrator, she couldn’t be sure. Resting on this hesitant identification, police secured a warrant and arrested Moon.
Moon was the only person in both the photographic and live lineup procedures and the victim identified him as the perpetrator in the live lineup. Additionally, Moon was identified as the perpetrator by two other women also believed to have been attacked by the same man.
Read more about eyewitness misidentification here
At trial, a lab technician testified that Moon was a possible contributor of the evidence from the crime scene. Further testing during Moon’s appeals would prove that this testimony was seriously flawed, as the lab technician made inaccurate conclusions.
Read more about unreliable science here
From the moment of his conviction, Moon began filing motions and appeals for DNA testing. He won access to DNA testing in 1989, but the results were deemed inconclusive because comparisons against the victim’s husband were not performed. He petitioned the court to allow for further testing, but was denied due to the court’s misconception that the other samples were unusable.
Finally, in 2001, Moon won access to further DNA testing and the results again excluded him as the perpetrator. In December 2004, Brandon Moon was released from prison and he was officially exonerated on April 21, 2005.
Other exoneration anniversaries this week:
Anthony D. Woods
, Missouri (Served 18 years, Exonerated 4/21/05)
, Wisconsin (Served 5 years, Exonerated 4/23/97)
, Virginia (Served 6.5 years, Exonerated 4/23/93)
, New York (Served 5.5 years, Exonerated 4/24/02)
, Arizona (Served 10 years, Exonerated 4/24/02)
, New Jersey (Served 9.5 years, Exonerated 4/25/95)
, Illinois (Served 4 years, Exonerated 04/06/2002)