News 08.01.08

Three years of freedom for Pennsylvania man

Thomas Doswell was denied parole four times during his 18 years in prison because he refused to admit guilt to a crime he never committed. Finally, DNA testing proved his innocence and he was released and exonerated on August 1, 2005. Today marks the third anniversary of his release.

Like many wrongful convictions, eyewitness misidentification in Doswell’s case helped put an innocent man in jail. When his photograph was presented to the victim in a photo array, his was the only photo marked with a suggestive “R.” Perhaps influenced by this marker, the rape victim picked Doswell out of the line-up — even though he did not match her description of the assailant.

Read about critical reforms to eyewitness identification procedures that can prevent wrongful convictions.

Read more about Thomas Doswell and watch a video of him performing a song at the Innocence Project’s 2007 Celebration of Freedom & Justice.

Other exoneration anniversaries this week:

Wednesday:

Larry Johnson

, Missouri (Served 18 years, Exonerated 7/30/02)

Thursday:

Jerry Watkins

, Indiana (Served 13.5 years, Exonerated 7/31/00)

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