News 06.25.10

Maryland Man Pressed for DNA Test and Made History

This week marks the seventeenth anniversary of Maryland fisherman

Kirk Bloodsworth

’s exoneration. In 1985, Bloodsworth was charged and convicted of the rape and murder of a nine year old girl. A 1992 DNA test proved his innocence after he had incorrectly served eight years in prison, two of which he spent on death row.

In July of 1984, a nine-year old girl was found dead having been brutally raped, strangled, and beaten. The police received an anonymous call; the caller claimed that Bloodsworth was seen with the victim on the day of the crime. A police sketch was constructed based on the descriptions of five eyewitnesses, all of who later testified during the trial that they had each seen Bloodsworth with the victim. He matched the witnesses’ descriptions. Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted and sentenced to death.

In  Bloodsworth’s appeals, the bulk of the prosecution’s case was challenged. The appellate court overturned his conviction and he was awarded a retrial. Unfortunately, hewas convicted again, this time receiving two life sentences. In 1992 DNA testing was no longer the nascent technology  it had been at the time of Bloodsworth’s original trial, but it was still uncommon. Bloodsworth pressed for a test of the semen sample on the victim’s underwear that had been recovered at the scene of the crime, contacting Attorney Robert E. Morin about the idea. Morin paid the $10,000 out of his own pocket to have the test conducted. A year later, the results came back. The semen on the victim’s underwear was not Bloodsworth’s. He was innocent.

Bloodsworth was freed in June of 1993, going down in history as the first person sentenced to death and then exonerated through DNA testing. Since his exoneration, 16 more former death row prisoners have been exonerated through DNA testing. It was Bloodsworth, and his attorney Robert E. Morin, who led the way to freedom.

After his exoneration, Bloodsworth joined with author Tim Junkin to write a memoir: “Bloodsworth: The True

Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA.

Buy it on Amazon.com here

.


Other Exoneree Anniversaries This Week:



David Gray,

Illinois

(Served 20 Years, Exonerated 6/23/99)

Verneal Jimerson,

Illinois

(Served 10.5 Years, Exonerated 6/24/96)

Kevin Green,

California

(Served 15.5 Years, Exonerated 6/20/96)

James Giles,

Texas

(Served 10 Years, Exonerated 6/21/07)

Armand Villasana,

Missouri

(Served 7 Months, Exonerated 6/21/00)

Leave a reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

  1. Matt Forrester says:

    Hello all…

    I’m from Australia & just watched “Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man” upon one of our satellite TV channels down here…a great show by a truly (FREE & INNOCENT) gifted orator with an incredibly important story to share, particularly with other innocent prisoners who have been wrongly convicted for crimes that they did not commit.

    And MASSIVE RESPECT to the now world-renowned & respected “Innocence Project”, who have not only saved lives but given hope & in many cases, freedom to incarcerated prisoners who would otherwise be dead – either via an application of the death penalty punishment or suicide after losing hope & giving up altogether – or still suffering from inhumane sentences that at the very least, another guilty person, or persons should be serving in their stead.

    Cheers & best wishes from “Down Under”, guys…keeping fighting the AMAZING fight!!

    Matt.

  2. Stewart John Bliss says:

    Hi,

    I am from the UK, and saw this case outlined on a TV channel here.
    I was ‘stunned’.

    Lesser men than Kevin, would have accepted their fate, and ‘gone into
    a depression.

    Kevin obviously has ‘huge character and determination’, and I personally
    greatly admire him.

    I don’t know whether I will buy the book of his memoirs, but I imagine he tours the
    US campaigning against the death penalty, which is still pursued in some states.

    PS.
    I would love to hear back from anyone connected to Kevin Bloodsworth,
    or this case..

Thanks for your comment

Featured news

Press "Enter" or click on the arrow to show results.

Search