DNA Frees Another TX Man - This One After 23 Years
Over the last 18 months, genetic testing of evidence found on the victim’s clothing and at the scene of the attack had yielded no trace of Mr. Sonnier, the Harris County district attorney’s office said. Instead, it has implicated two other men. Both are felons and known associates. One is awaiting trial for a different rape.
Prosecutors are not conceding Sonnier's innocence, "though prosecutors acknowledge that the new DNA tests cast strong doubt on the conviction." Now they want to do more investigation. Why didn't they do it when the claims of innocence were first raised?
Texas leads the nation in exonerations of the wrongfully convicted: [More...]
Texas leads the nation in cases in which convicted men have been exonerated through DNA tests. Thirty-eight of the nation’s 241 people cleared since 1989 were convicted here, according to the Innocence Project, a charity dedicated to such cases.
What caused Sonnier's conviction? Faulty eye-witness evidence (the victim id'd him in a lineup) and sloppy science and testimony by the Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory.
Sonnier is 46 years old. Half of his life has been spent in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
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