More than 30 years after convicting an innocent man of murder, two jurors are supporting the man’s effort to be declared legally innocent, which would make him eligible for compensation.
Santae Tribble of Maryland was convicted for the shooting death of a cab driver in Washington, D.C. based solely on bad evidence from the FBI and exaggerated statements from the prosecutor, both of whom claimed that a piece of hair found on the stocking worn by the perpetrator was a match for Tribble. The prosecutors went as far to say there was only a 1 in 10 million chance it could be someone else’s hair, reported NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
DNA testing of the hair led to Tribble’s exoneration in May and he has been released from prison. However, without a judge’s certificate of actual innocence, he will not be compensated for more than 25 years he spent behind bars. He can collect up to $50,000 a year for each year spent behind bars.
Susan Dankoff and Anita Woodruff served on the jury that convicted Tribble in only a few hours after rejecting his alibi that he was asleep at home when the crime was committed. After hearing news about the bad evidence and DNA testing, both women are haunted by the wrongful conviction and have urged the court to take the next step.
Dankoff said she got a call from Tribble’s lawyer not too long ago letting her know.
“And that really, really left a mark,” she said. “I was just devastated. I think I walked around feeling numb for a week after hearing that.”
full article and listen to this story
27 States Have Compensation Statutes: Is Yours One?
coverage of the case