Innocent man jailed in Texas since 1979 now free
Cornelius Dupree Jr., left, and Innocence Project lawyer Nina Morrison talk to CNN after Dupree became a free man.
January 4th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Innocent man jailed in Texas since 1979 now free

A Texas man imprisoned 30 years ago on aggravated robbery charges had his conviction overturned on Tuesday after DNA evidence exonerated him.

Dallas County Judge Don Adams overturned Cornelius Dupree Jr.’s conviction Tuesday, clearing his name officially.

"It's a joy to be free," Dupree, 51, said outside court.

Dupree has served more years in a Texas prison for a crime he did not commit than anyone else in the state who was later exonerated by DNA evidence. Only two other people exonerated by DNA have spent more time in prison in the entire country, the Innocence Project said. Texas has freed 41 wrongly convicted prisoners because of DNA testing since 2001, more than any other state.

Dupree told CNN after becoming a free man that he had "mixed emotions" about the hearing considering how long he had been incarcerated.

"I must admit there is a bit of anger, but there is also joy, and the joy overrides the anger," he told CNN. "I'm just so overwhelmed with the joy of being free."

The judge's decision followed comments from Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, who said the DNA testing shows Dupree "did not commit this crime."

Dupree is trying not to be too angry, despite having 30 years of his life taken away.

"I think that could have happened to anyone," he told CNN. "It's just unfortunate that it happened to me. The system needs to be corrected somehow."

That system he refers to includes Dallas specifically, where a record 21 people have been exonerated on DNA evidence, and Texas as a whole.

"Cornelius Dupree spent the prime of his life behind bars because of mistaken identification that probably would have been avoided if the best practices now used in Dallas had been employed,” Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, said in a press release. "Let us never forget that, as in the heartbreaking case of Cornelius Dupree, a staggering 75% of wrongful convictions of people later cleared by DNA evidence resulted from misidentifications.”

Nina Morrison, senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, told CNN "an enormous number" of the wrongly accused people convicted in Dallas and around the country were convicted on the basis of mistaken witness identification.

But she said that big improvements in those procedures have been made "so that what happened to Mr. Dupree doesn't happen to anyone else."

Morrison attributed Dupree's exoneration also to the work of the district attorney who has been examining previous convictions closely - and to Dallas County's saving of evidence.

"Dallas has been a leader in saving evidence," she said, noting that even though the policy was evidence had to be saved from cases from 1981 and later, evidence from Dupree's case in 1979 still existed.

"So it was something of a small miracle" that it was preserved, she said.

Watkins, the district attorney, said there were really no standards in place about how to keep evidence, but when he came into office he made it his job to do whatever he could to "not just to seek convictions but to seek justice."

"We created a unit that specifically looked at claims of innocence," he said. "And unfortunately it shows people who made those claims were truly innocent."

Watkins works with Morrison and others at the Innocence Project now, hoping to right wrongs from the past, and bring trust back to a system that has been brought into question.

"It gives us credibility now," he said. "[Residents] actually believe in what we're doing, that we're here not just to seek convictions but to seek justice and seek the truth."

Dupree was paroled six months ago after DNA tests results came back. He was declared innocent on Monday, the Innocence Project said.

Dupree was accused of being one of two men who forced a 26-year-old woman and another male into a car at gunpoint in 1979, forcing them to drive the car and robbing them in the process, according to court documents. The two men also were accused of raping the female, court documents said. But, prosecutors did not pursue rape charges in the case because it would not result in additional jail time, according to the Innocence Project.

The female victim initially identified Dupree from a photo line-up, but the male was unable to do so, according to court documents. At trial, however, both victims said Dupree and his co-defendant Anthony Massingill were the ones who committed the crime. They were convicted, and Dupree was sentenced to 75 years. Massingill, who is also serving time for a separate rape charge, is expected to also have his conviction set aside, the Innocence Project said.

Dupree has been fighting for his innocence since the day he was arrested, and for years following his conviction claiming he was mistakenly identified as the suspect. The Court of Criminal Appeals turned him down three times.

“Mistaken identification has always plagued the criminal justice system, but great strides have been made in the last three decades to understand the problem and come up with fixes like those being considered by the state Legislature that help minimize wrongful convictions,” Morrison said in a press release. “We hope state lawmakers take note of the terrible miscarriage of justice suffered by Cornelius. When the wrong person is convicted of a crime, the real perpetrator goes free, harming everyone.”

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice
soundoff (1,011 Responses)
  1. Uraluni

    "likely to be freed"???

    I would thunk that proof of innocence would make more than "likely" you'd be freed.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Eduardo Madrid

      Christ. About that point you are right: It is not the federal goverment, but it is us in general, as individuals. I always found unbelievable how people react when they talk about illegal immigrants. Everybody knows that being illegal is a Civil violation. It is the equivalent of running a stop sign or driving with your stereo too loud. However the reaction you see when people talk about them is outrageous. People don't see themselves as criminals when the drive over the speed limit, however when it is about immigrants they talks as if the have killed somebody, they lock themselves in a "What part of illegal you don't understand" rant , and speak about these individuals as if they have committed the most vicious crime just because they don't have papers. Just think about this which is one of the most mundane situation as a civil violation, so imagine if there is a real possibility the person could be guilty of a felony.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Maurice

      Like Bob Dylan said "How can you live in a country, where justice is game?" Incarceration is big business in this police state. Yeah, that's right, I said "police state" which is exactly what America is. Don't let the propaganda fool you. Get your head out of the television, out of Britney Spears's behind and pay attention to the world around you. We have been trained to just callously demonize anyone and everyone who has any run ins with the law, even if they are obviously innocent. Then when something happens to us, we realize we are on our own. Divide and Conquer, and our plutocracy does it well.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Flagguy

      Running stop signs, speeding, etc., are civil violations. Residing in the country illegally is a CRIMINAL, not civil, violation. Comparing the two is a logical fallacy. But thanks for playing!

      January 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigmundfreud

      @jimmy

      It was your tax dollars that paid for the incompetent/malicious police investigation and it was your tax dollars that paid for the incompetent/malicious prosecution.

      Welcome to democracy. At the end of the day, it was up to the police and the prosecution to dismiss the accusations of an incompetent witness. It was public officials who made those decisions, so in a democracy, you have to pay for the blunders made by your elected officials.

      One item not addressed in this article: DNA testing has been around for nearly 20 years. So why did it take so many years to have this man cleared? Any public official responsible for those delays should be dismissed, and his/her pension should go to the the compensation fund.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron Clark

      Its ironic that most of the exonerated prisoners, some on death row, are of African decent. District Attorney Craig Watson is a hero and angel for doing what his predecessors did not have the courage to do, seek the complete truth.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tee

      "Everybody knows that being illegal is a Civil violation."___________________________________________ It is a crime. But that won't concern a criminal like you.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yeah BS. Entering a country illegally is much more than a speeding ticket.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Jimmy, the reason Texans' tax dollars SHOULD be used to pay this man millions of dollars is because their corrupt system – shaped by the voting public in the name of being "tough on crime" – ruins the lives of innocent people like this. The majority simply doesn't care because, being white, they have no reason to fear being railroaded like this. Sent to jail for life on nothing but the testimony of a witness? Then denied multiple appeals of this baseless conviction? Absurd.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Likely indeed... but remember, this is Texas we're talking about.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      I thought Rick Perry said the Texas justice system never makes mistakes and never imprisons or executes innocent people especially if they are poor minorities.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military in San Antonio

      @Jimmy......what you seem not to know or maybe care about is the FACT that the District Attorney's office is charged with much more than just winning a prosecution.

      Their primary job is to ensure that the the 'truth' of a case is brought out. EVEN if that means the defendant is found to be not guilty. In this case, the DA's office clearly FAILED.....and as a result, robbed a man of 30 years of his life.

      There's no way around that fact!

      January 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texian

      Eduardo, what part of "illegal alien" are you confused about?????? They are a drain on our economy. We DON'T want them here. So, leave.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • kristy

      Welcome to the socialist states of america. When you elect your district attorneys, states attorneys or whatever they are called in your state then it is the record that counts not justice. Some guy on here eduardo is trying to compare this to illegal immigration. GO HOME, it is a federal crime not civil violation to be here illegally. O.K. with that said this guy should sue the state of Texas, the county prosecuter and the victims and bankrupt them all. The only way a judicial system will learn from their "mistakes" is by hitting them in their pocketbooks. Jails get federal subsidies and money for the inmates they have incarcerated. The biggest business in this country today is incarceration. It has went from the govt. hands into private hands. These companies are making billions off of the judicial system. Since when is jailing someone a business? How about the bond system. You go to jail for a crime, you pay a bondsman to get out. You are found innocent and the bondsman keeps your money? WHAT? If I am found innocent or the charges are dropped then I should get all of my money back and I should be able to sue the Sheriff's office or police dept for false arrest. Federal law states that you must have evidence that the person arrested commite the crime to make an arrest. If I am found not guilty then there could not have been any evidence. If a victim wrongly identifies a suspect and it is later proven, then the victim should be sued by the wrongly identified suspect. Hold on, victim I.D. should not be allowed to be presented to get a conviction. Evidence such as D.N.A., fingerprints and other hard evidence should be the only evidence allowed to be presented. It is proven that over 99% of people when put in a stressful situation can not correctly identify a suspect.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      How come you people are blaming the prosecutor and police for this? The witnesses identified this man. The people who are to blame are the jurors, whose duty it was to determine what facts had been proven. Not alleged, but PROVEN! As long as there are morons who do not understand this concept, and vote on emotion when placed on juries, we will have false convictions and OJ like acquittals.

      The state of Texas should certainly pay, because it was representatives of that state who voted that this man had been PROVEN guilty of a crime he did not commit.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. amy

    Leave it to Texas to convict an innocent man.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      Amy – they convict innocent people in your state also. I live here and hope he gets millions too.

      The real problem is that America has 5% of the worlds population but we hold 25% of the worlds prisoners. It doesn't take a genius or a very high level of statistical analysis to understand there is something very wrong with these numbers. At their worst Communist China or Russia never held as many of their citizens in prison as we do.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Texian

      OK, Keith, so let's let some criminals loose. Maybe they'll come to your house or do harm to someone in your family. Hope not.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      Texian – the criminals are working at the court house. When American judicial system becomes about truth and justice then things will change. There are so many laws that it is estimated that every one in the US breaks three federal laws per week.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Dave

      The biggest reason that there are so many prisoners in the US is our insane drug laws.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • UHhello

      This man is lucky GWB didn't have him executed as George was likely to do as governor of TX.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • christopher

      Amy, Texas is probably the worst but let's not assume they are the only one's doing this. We have a justice system nationally that is felonizing our country. They are not only putting innocent people in jail but they are over punishing for legitimate crimes and making stuff that shouldn't be criminal at all into severe folonies. Wrongful convictions is just a small part of the growing problem. We have the worst justice system in the civilized world and anyone who legitimately researches this cannot possibly come to any other conclusion yet it is ignored. Doesn't really make a "free" country appear that way.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • gale

      It is Texas that is now doing their best to get innocent people freed more than any other state.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • MRG

      Amy, our criminal justice system is the best in the world but it's not perfect. Eyewitness testimony is notoriously inaccurate and DNA testing was in its infancy 30 years ago. Your suggestion that somehow Texas has it out to purposefully convict someone for a crime they did not commit is normal. Your suggestion is spurious, without foundation, and hateful.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • truebob

      an innocent BLACK man. Again.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Schuyler

      They are the only state to sentence a mentally handicapped person to death, recently anyway. People can speak well of texas all they want, but as far as miscarriages of justice goes, texas takes the cake.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • christopher

      MRG – Saying that the U.S.A has the best justice system in the world is just rhetoric. In fact it's among the worst. It's rediculous to write this fact off by saying we have problems like everyone else. Now I don't believe Texas is just trying to convict innocent people but I do think their prosecutors are like prosecutors in most of the country that are overzealous and more interested in a W for their record than getting down to the truth. Unfortunately in Texas, the people pride themselves on having an "express lane" for executions and their "tough on crime" laws while other states are starting to realize that we'd rather get it right before we execute someone no matter how long it takes and that being smart and fair on crime is much more effective than being tough. Being tough creates more criminals and hardens the ones that would otherwise be easily rehabilitated. It's stupid.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigmundfreud

      @texian

      Your reply lacks logic. With the highest incarceration rate and the most executions in the western world, the US (and especially Texas) should have the lowest crime rates and the lowest murder rates.

      And they don't.

      And your reply also lacks logic since many of those in US jails are there for non-violent crimes that would never receive jail time in more civilized countries.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigmundfreud

      @gale, who said "It is Texas that is now doing their best to get innocent people freed more than any other state"

      I hope you are using irony. If Texas is really doing their best to get innocent people freed, then why did it take so many years after the advent of DNA testing to get this man freed?

      More to the point, if Texas is doing more than other states, perhaps that means that Texas is the home of more bungled prosecutions!

      January 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigmundfreud

      @MRG Amy, our criminal justice system is the best in the world but it's not perfect.

      I hope that you too are being ironic. Do you know anything about the justice systems in any other country? Most Canadians cringe at news reports from the US about your "justice" system.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Gale...this isn't Texas working towards exonerating these people, it's a non-profit legal action group called the Innocence Project. They review the cases and then bring them through the proper channels to be reviewed.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      Just an FYI, Dallas has a high number of over-turned convictions because they have properly kept old evidence. Other innocent people in places with little or no old evidence are even worse off than this poor gentleman, if you can imagine. I am at least glad that Dallas is not afraid to admit wrong doing. It is such a travesty that innocent people die in prison or are executed.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • pedro

      While I agree that we incarcerate innocents and just generally incarcerate too long for too little in support of a for-hire prison system, your comparisons to Communist states do not hold up. Ask yourself – who killed the most of their won people during WWII? Hitler was in THIRD PLACE – behind Stalin, who took out an estimated 1 out of 4 Russians himself, and Chairman Mao, who took out 1 out of 10 Chinese. They don't have the prison statistics we do? For one thing, they don't report a lot of the people they do send to prison – secondly, they generally don't put you in a cell after they just take you out behind your house, shoot you and leave you there. Which was the standard way China dealt with the officials tied to the black market when it was causing them a headache in getting western companies to come to China.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texan

      Y'all shouldn't pin this down on Texans or Texas. Every state has faults. Every one of them. I live in Texas and i know what the people here are like, they're kinder folks than I've ever met in any other state. My dad was a prison guard for twenty years and yes, the prison system in Texas is corrupt. But that shouldn't reflect on the people, it reflects on the government, which happens to be corrupt nationwide.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      @KeithTexas – that's the most illogical argument I've ever heard. Because we incarcerate a larger percentage of our population than others means we are somehow doing something wrong? Perhaps it's the opposite – the rest of the world doesn't incarcerate the people that they SHOULD... meaning it's safer walking the streets here than elsewhere? Or perhaps you prefer the Saudi way? Simply behead a criminal on the street rather than fill a jail cell? Don't think DNA testing can help those folks that are "misidentified"...

      January 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. amy

    I smell a big lawsuit and if it was me i would take all of texas's money.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Texas Girl

      I live in Texas and I agree. They will convict you in no time and with no proof too! Sad but I would sue the pants off the City of Dallas.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaylee

      I agree!

      January 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • w myers

      Most times you can't sue over something like this. Government laws typically give immunity to themselves for this specific reason.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      Texas has a compensation law in place. I believe he will get ~$2.4 million.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • chipotle

      he should sue for millions and more millions..they ruined his life for Gods sake!!

      January 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Do you sue the state or the jurors that convited him? Why is the state responcible for him being convicted in a court of law? Maybe they should have looked at DNA 20 years ago but lets face facts, the state didn't mis-indentify him or wrongly convict him they chargred him with the evidence they had and a jury convicted him. Just asking questions is all..

      January 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADL

      @ Jeff – I say he sue the state and the jurors, who knows what this man could have contributed to our world if he wasn't wrongly imprisoned. This whole thing is a shame.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      I was actually reading up on this awhile ago, and they don't even have to actually give him any money. and since it wasn't the investigators at fault, he might not get that much money. it just depends on how generouse they are feeling.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Texian

    Come on down amy...we'd be more than happy to convict you on somthing.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. DerpDiggler

    That's what you get for being black in Texas

    January 4, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack in NY

      Blacks are racists too, Look at the public school in Philadelphia. They harassed all the Asian kids. When they are outnumbered everyone else, then they turned into racist too. Hypocrit people...SHAME TO YOU! You should have learned in 60s or 70s.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Some Dude

      I believe the most recent innocent man executed in Texas was actually white. Hard to keep track of Texas.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • DanielJersey

      @ Jack: So based on the behavior of black teenagers in Philly you are making a blanket statement that all blacks are racist? I have never understood the desire of whites to attribute the behavior of some blacks teens to the millions of blacks living in this country. It is as asine as saying all whites are racist based on the behavior of a few inbred rednecks.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • PossibleRedneck

      Do you have to be racist to be a redneck? If so I guess I am just polite southern country!

      January 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      Jack shut up. My black sister and nephew have lived in san jose ca for a number of years. They have felt racism from asians out there the whole time. They vandlize her car they call him names and leave bananas in his locker. Am I going to judge the whole race of asians based on this? Absolutely not. This article is abt an innocent man neing locked up fpr 30 yrs but his skin color causes u to bring up what happened in philly?

      January 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LC B

    Land of the free – Home of the brave . . . and this is a prime example of this country's (country of Texas) system of "justice". May this gentleman, whose life has been 'stolen', be compensated . . . by whatever amounts/means now seem "just"!

    January 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. myklds

    "It's better to remain 10 criminals free than to send 1 innocent person in jail." It must be beyond reasonable doubt, NOT doubt for no reason.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • justme

      I'm sorry but I do not agree with this. I would rather have 11 people in jail – one innocent, 10 put away so they can not commit another crime. However, that being siad, I also think that as soon as dna became possible it should have been used on EVERY

      January 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • justme

      It should have been used on EVERY prisoner who said they were innocent. I know they say that it costs a lot for that test – really!!! Why, who said it had to cost that much. It's government operated so they have the ability to make it real cheap!!!! And that's what they should do! There is no excuse for things to cost so much other than greed!!! Let poor people sit on congress, they are the ones who know what is really going on in this country, and it isn't good!!!

      January 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sun Stevens

      What if the eleventh person, the innocent one, was your brother...or father. Would the "10 guilty, 1 innocent is OK" comment still stand?

      January 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Summers Eve

    Massingill smells sweet scent of freedom

    January 4, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. cogjc

    State of Texas has several cases where people currently in jail are attempting to get DNA tested. State of Texas is fighting in those instances having the DNA testing done. Now why do you think the State of Texas would fight someone being proven being innoncent??

    January 4, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • fearlessdude

      Prosecutors and the police are not looking for justice, they are looking for convictions no matter who is the innocent victim.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. jonnyposter

    Identification from a line up is now known to be a weak form of evidence. More than 60% of those executed in the US based of positive identification were proven innocent after our justice system murdered them.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Sun Stevens

      Could you post links or something that verifies that number? Because it sounds like a crazy figure to me.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonnyposter

      If I can find a link I will. But I remember reading that and it is the main reason the system no longer allows the death penalty when a conviction is primarily based on "positive identification".

      January 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonnyposter

      OK thanks for questioning. This is not exactly the same subject (I don't know how many were convicted based merely on positive Identification) but 60% was probably wrong. I saw one link that indicated 3% of those executed were later proven innocent. And this link that is in the context of Texas where out of 100 murder convictions against innocent people, only 8 were executed. But we know that in Texas, the execution state, that would be a very small percent overall. http://www.ccadp.org/henrydunn-lampofhope.htm
      Here is some more related info: Currently, over 115 people in 25 states have been released from death row because of innocence since 1973. In November, 1998 Northwestern University held the first-ever National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty, in Chicago, Illinois. The Conference, which drew nationwide attention, brought together 30 of these wrongfully convicted inmates who were exonerated and released from death row. Many of these cases were discovered not as the result of the justice system, but instead as the result of new scientific techniques, investigations by journalism students, and the work of volunteer attorneys. These resources are not available to the typical death row inmate. (My comment >> This just makes me wonder! We have rampant unequal doling out of sentences, and complete injustices occurring within our Justice System. At least if we abolished the death penalty we could prevent our Justice system from continuing to engage in the greatest of all injustices 'the murder of innocents'. )
      This is the source link: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-ii-history-death-penalty#inno

      January 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cavemanstyle

    Now... go find the prosecutor, the judge, and all of the officers involved in putting this man in jail, and make them do 30 years.

    AN EYE FOR AN EYE... IF YOU PUT AN INNOCENT MAN IN JAIL YOU NEED TO PAY THE CONSEQUENCES. What if it was your son or daughter that got wrongly accused? See.. everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions, even the law, because you're all not above it.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Disagree – eye for eye makes the world blind. Instead change the laws and the mindset of the people – that will take time and effort, but we would ALL benefit from that. All they have to do is allow prosecutors to be sued when they get it wrong. You can be sure they'd be less in a rush to charge the a convenient poor person with a crime.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • fearlessdude

      Eye for eye? No. Two eyes for one and a whole face for a tooth.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Lady D

      Agree!!

      January 4, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Parot

      Yes, i agree. Common sense aint so common, depending on who is in charge. It would be a great thing for justice if our justice system was truly just. Whenever something comes out to make the justice system look bad, someone always get in the media and say let's trust the system. How does that make sense, it is only wishful thinking or like most people are saying today, it is just like us dumb americans to not want to fight for whats right and just against our fellow citizen but we are ready for war against any country and at freat cost for false allegations.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • dvus

      i really want to know how the victim(s) feel right now. do they have to pay compensation for falsly accusing someone and stealing 30 years of their life? i wonder how he feels about them.

      January 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CJ

    Remember this the next time you or anyone you know cheers for the death penalty. That's a sentence that cannot be reversed. And for the record, MOST states if not all have legislation in place that prevents prosecutors who get it wrong whether or not on purpose. So there is rarely any 'suing the pants' off states who wrongfully incarcerate

    January 4, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    Why, after the conclusion of this story, is CNN "recommending" the story about Hugh Hefner and his recent engagement? Is there a connection between the years of false imprisonment and Hef's life that I fail to grasp? And why should a "news" item need to be recommended at all?

    January 4, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Now they've changed it to a recommendation about a Honda car. I cannot fathom CNN's editing.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Steve: it's called advertising. The more news stories they can get you to read, the more advertising money they make. Advertising money is the ONLY reason CNN is on here. It's also why they have so many silly stories, that aren't really news.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Another day, another moot point to complain about. God forbid a news company make any money, or have an entertainment section to their website.

      January 4, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mr. DuPree ( De 1st STATE )

    I from the 1st State ( born nd Raised ) People all over this GREAT COUNTRY of ours get wrongfully convicted all the time ESP in Delaware. My older cousin is on DEATH ROW right now & err1 knows he didn't do it BUT it isn't what u kno its what u can PROVE . That's y you should never sign anything without ur LAWYER present

    January 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      You know, at first I just thought your comment was ignorant, but after re-reading it, it scares me. Do you really NOT know that the letter 'y' is not a word? The word is 'why'. Also, the word 'you' is not spelled 'u'. Blogging is about communicating, guys, not just texting. If you want people to take what you say seriously, it would be nice if you took the effort to make it understandable!

      To top off the insult of your spelling, your intent of your post is questionable, as well.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • pedro

      While Mr. DuPree's syntax is indeed abominable and his position unsupported, you are making light of a very serious matter for the man, and that isn't right. While I cannot say one way or the other whether he is correct in his assertions about his cousin's case, I can tell you as a Delawarean that our state has serious class equity issues, and for a poor man of either color to throw themselves at the mercy of the police, the courts, or even their public defender in this state is a very dangerous proposition. I tended bar at a country club as I was getting my degree, and heard the phrase "laws are for the poor" drop from a lawyer's lips more than once – and I believe it. If my kids ever get in serious trouble with the law here I would mortgage my life away to get them a good lawyer.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry

    I love this... they praise DNA evidence, use it as often as possible when trying to convict, but VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE it when it means clearing a wrongly convicted man. 10 murders should go free before one innocent goes to jail.. Texas should have to pay this man a million for every year behind bars, and do it willingly, without court orders, or him fighting for it. But, no, that wont happen. Our justice system sucks, its a i wanna win system... where prosecutors want to get numbers, and not the truth.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
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