Maryland Man Pressed for DNA Test and Made History
This week marks the seventeenth anniversary of Maryland fisherman
’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:
(Served 20 Years, Exonerated 6/23/99)
(Served 10.5 Years, Exonerated 6/24/96)
(Served 15.5 Years, Exonerated 6/20/96)
(Served 10 Years, Exonerated 6/21/07)
(Served 7 Months, Exonerated 6/21/00)
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March 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm
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
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.
I would love to hear back from anyone connected to Kevin Bloodsworth,
or this case..
Matt Forrester June 17, 2018 at 3:12 am
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!!