DNA leads to suspect in Connecticut exoneration case


Police announced yesterday that DNA has identified a suspect in the 1988 rape for which James Tillman spent more than 16 years in prison. Hartford Police and the State’s Attorney’s Cold Case Unit announced that a DNA profile from evidence at the crime scene has matched Duane Foster, who is currently serving time in a Virginia prison for unrelated crimes.

Foster previously lived in Hartford, where the 1988 crime happened, and Tillman’s attorney said the two served time in the same prison at one point. Officials have a warrant for Foster’s arrest on a first-degree kidnapping charge in the 1988 case, as the statute of limitations on sexual assault has expired. It was unclear Thursday if and when he would be extradited to Connecticut.

Read the full story here

. (Hartford Courant, 02/01/08)

Tillman was released from prison on July 11, 2006 after serving more than 16 years for the 1988 rape. DNA testing proved that he did not commit the crime. 

Read more about his case here


In 81 of the 212 DNA exonerations nationwide, DNA didn’t just exonerate people who were wrongfully convicted – it helped identify the true perpetrators who evaded justice for years or decades.  The policy reforms the Innocence Project pursues nationwide are proven to protect the innocent and help apprehend the guilty. 

Learn more about these reforms here


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