Innocence Project client Clay Chabot has already served 21 years in prison for a Dallas, Texas, rape and murder that he has always maintained he didn’t commit. The main witness against him was his brother-in-law, Gerald Pabst, who was arrested last month after DNA tests showed that he was involved in the crime and lied on the stand during Chabot’s trial. An article in today’s Dallas Observer investigates the secret dealings of the Dallas District Attorney’s office in the 1980s – including the unspoken agreement that allowed Pabst to lie on the stand and walk free.
Chabot remains in a Texas prison while (Dallas District Attorney) Craig Watkins decides if the case against him will be dismissed. Even if the case isn't dismissed, Chabot will get a new trial.
"What's important is now, regardless of what happened back then, we've arrested and charged Pabst and we intend to try him," says Mike Ware, special assistant in charge of conviction integrity, a post newly created by Watkins. "And if we make any deals in this case or any other case, they are going to be disclosed and they are going to be aboveboard."
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. (Dallas Observer, 09/28/07)
False testmony by incentivized informants was a major cause of dozens of the 208 wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing.
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