The latest innocent man wrongly convicted in Dallas County is Charles Chatman who spent 26 years in prison for a rape of a neighbor. He is the 15th such person to be cleared by DNA in Dallas County, which has developed a reputation as a careless and dangerous jurisdiction for criminal prosecutions. Texas itself has had to release at least 30 wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001. The question is what the state and county will do to correct a justice system that seems to unjustly convict the innocent with a shocking repetition.
New DNA testing cleared Chatman of a rape that occurred that lawyers say proves his innocence and adds to Dallas County’s nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.
Chatman was 20 when the victim identified him in a photo lineup — an often inaccurate method of identification. He lived five houses away from the victim. While people believe that they have accurate visual recollections, studies have shown that eyewitness testimony is highly unreliable.
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