There are many consequences to consider when charged with a sex crime. A sex crime conviction often results in a serious sentence. In addition to years in prison, the accused's personal life can be ruined. A Texas man knows all too well the substantial consequences of a sex crime conviction. That man has recently been exonerated, however.
In 1987, the man was sentenced to prison for the allegedly kidnapping and raping of a 14-year-old girl. However, in 2004, authorities determined that his conviction was based on faulty DNA evidence from a Texas crime lab. The man had been behind bars for 17 years.
The failure of a Texas crime lab is not new information for most of the state's residents. As many previous posts have indicated, Texas crime labs have fallen short of requirements much too often. The incident with this innocent man is no exception.
Unfortunately, the falsely accused has been unable to find steady work in the eight years since he was released. His back problems, and no doubt the stigma of his wrongful imprisonment, have likely prevented him from obtaining gainful employment. The man sued the city for what he experienced as a result of the false conviction. After six years of litigation, the parties finally settled.
An aggressive criminal defense attorney will fight questionable state crime lab results at every opportunity. Additionally, every inconsistency in the prosecution's case and every weak point should be pointed out to the judge or jury. When an individual's freedom is at stake, no element of the prosecution's case should be taken at face value.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Settlement for wrongful imprisonment settles little," Lisa Falkenberg, Nov. 2, 2012