Speaking topics: False ID, Inadequate Legal Defense
An ineffective trial lawyer and flawed eyewitness identification procedure destroyed the lives of Malcolm Alexander and his family for 38 years.
In February 1980, a white woman accused Alexander, who is black, of sexual assault in Louisiana. Alexander maintained his innocence. A review of the one-day trial transcript revealed that his attorney, who was subsequently disbarred, failed to make an opening statement, did not call any witnesses for the defense, failed to adequately cross-examine the state’s witnesses, and presented a closing argument that was a mere four pages of the 87-page transcript. Alexander was wrongfully convicted and received a life sentence. Alexander never gave up the fight to prove his innocence. In 2013, hair evidence recovered from the location where the rape took place was found at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab. Three crime scene hairs had the same DNA profile that did not match to Alexander or the victim. Alexander was exonerated in January of 2018. He is the Innocence Project’s longest-serving exonerated client. Today he is a member of the Innocence Project Exoneree Advisory Council.