Nine years ago tomorrow, on Nov. 6, 1998,
walked out of an Illinois prison after serving 20 years for a crime he did not commit. He was wrongfully convicted of rape and sentenced to 60 years behind bars. He fought to clear his name for 20 years before he attained the testing to prove his innocence. In 1998, DNA testing on a quilt from the scene of the rape proved that Gray could not have committed the crime. His conviction was overturned one year later, making his exoneration official.
The first trial against Gray, which centered on the victim’s misidentification of him as her attacker, ended in a hung jury. At a second trial, however, the prosecution’s case was supplemented with testimony from a jailhouse snitch who claimed that Gray had confessed to him. Snitch testimony and eyewitness misidentification are two of the major causes of wrongful conviction.
Learn more about these and other causes of wrongful conviction here
Other exoneration anniversaries this week:
, Maryland (Served 20 years, Exonerated 11/7/2002)