News 04.21.16

National Letter Writing Month: A Letter from Terry Chalmers

By Innocence Staff

On April 5, Terry Chalmers celebrated the 21st anniversary of his exoneration and release. Chalmers served seven and a half years in prison for a violent rape that DNA later proved he did not commit. On February of 1993, Chalmers wrote his first letter to Innocence Project, asking for testing of the evidence from the rape kit.

In his letter, Chalmers wrote that the victim’s rape kit was never tested and that the blood type of the semen collected didn’t match his own. He said he was confident that testing of the semen from the victim’s slip would prove his innocence and set him free.

For seven long years I have walked through the halls of these prisons too ashame (sic) to seek help on this case because of the nature of this crime…RAPE…

I am innocent and DNA can, and shall prove this…

I have a wife and five (5) children and it takes every fiber of my being to hold us together…

I love her and the kids very much, they have been made to suffer this time as much as I have…

Please help me…I am INNOCENT!!!

After receiving Chalmers’ request for help, the Innocence Project  located the rape kit and items of clothing used as evidence at trial and petitioned for DNA testing.

Forensic Science Associates performed PCR-based DNA testing on the swabs from the rape kit. In 1994, it was determined that the victim could not be the source of DNA in the sperm fraction from the swabs. A second report determined that Chalmers could be eliminated as the source of the swabs.

Chalmers’ conviction was subsequently vacated and his charges were dismissed on April 5, 1995.

Read more about Chalmers’ case here.

letter-chalmers

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  1. Nancy Cooper says:

    Nancy Cooper Hochberg
    August 9, 2016

    I wish to send out cards and gifts to all your clients, regardless of their states.
    I am a 59 year old who believes that your clients need emotional support while waiting years to be retried. I want to communicate with anyone who needs it. I advocate for a variety of issues. Please tell me how I can reach out to those that are broken in a legal system that sometimes defies justice.
    nancy.cooper@rogers.com
    Thank you

  2. Bernadette Priegues says:

    I want to know the adress that inmate could write to the innocence project.

Thanks for your comment

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