News 05.30.08

Eight years of freedom for Texas man

A.B. Butler served 16 years in Texas prison before DNA proved his innocence and led to his release in 2000. Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of his exoneration.

After a woman in Smith County was abducted from a parking lot and raped by an African-American man, police asked her to review books of photos. She identified a photo of Butler as the perpetrator. Police then conducted a live lineup including Butler, and she identified him again. She identified him a third time at trial, and he was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing. More than 75 percent of the 217 people exonerated by DNA testing were misidentified before their convictions.



Read more about A.B. Butler’s case here

.

Read about

reforms proven to reduce the number of eyewitness misidentification

and

find out if your state has implemented any of these reforms

.

Other exoneration anniversaries this week:

Monday:

Larry Peterson

, New Jersey (Served 16.5 years, Exonerated 05/26/06)


Willie Jackson

, Louisiana (Served years, 17 Exonerated 05/26/06)

Tuesday:

Paul Kordonowy

, Montana (Served 13 years, Exonerated 05/27/03)

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