Dynamist Blog

An Innocent Man

notguilty.jpg"She got the wrong man and a D and A test will prove my innocent," Keith Turner, who had served six years in prison for rape, wrote to the Dallas district attorney years after he was paroled. In today's Dallas Morning News, Bruce Tomasco tells the story of how Turner's persistent requests for a DNA test--something he heard about on Court TV in 2001--finally got his name cleared. It's a sad, compelling piece, worth reading in full.

The DMN website has posted copies of documents from the case, including Turner's poignant, painfully respectfu, semi-literate letters.


As Reason's Radley Balko points out, Dallas seems to be exonerating a lot of prisoners--12 so far, with more than 400 waiting for DNA tests--but it's unlikely the city has an especially bad track record. It just has more evidence on file.

[New district attorney Craig] Watkins' quest to clear the names of the innocent is aided by the fact that Dallas County coincidentally has historically preserved blood samples from cases involving violent crime. Most other jurisdictions across the country only recently began doing that.

It's likely of no coincidence that the one jurisdiction where blood samples have been preserved is also one that's finding a shocking number of convictions of innocent people

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