A judge freed Dwayne Allen Dail this morning in Goldsboro, North Carolina, after DNA evidence proved his innocence of a 1987 rape for which he was sentenced to life in prison. Dail was misidentified by the 12-year-old victim in the case and a hair from the crime scene was reported to be consistent with Dail’s hair (and the hair of countless other Caucasian men). He had turned down an offer to plead guilty in exchange for three years of probation and had served 18 years in prison before his release this morning.
Chris Mumma, Dail’s attorney since 2001 and the director of the
North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence
, said the DNA results that prove Dail’s innocence also matches the profile of another person, already serving time in North Carolina prison.
District Attorney Branny Vickory joined with Dail’s attorneys in asking that the conviction be overturned, said that it became clear Monday when he received results of the DNA test that Dail should be freed immediately:
"The science has proved that Mr. Dail is innocent," Vickory told the Charlotte News & Observer. "He didn't do it. The evidence is so overwhelmingly strong, there's no need to wait."
Coverage of today’s hearing:
Charlotte News & Observer:
Man released after 20 years in prison
Judge Dismisses Rape Charges Against Goldsboro Man