TX - James Waller, 50, exonerated by DNA in '83 child rape

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by CW, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. CW

    CW Former Member

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    In a case that has renewed questions about the quality of Texas justice, a man who spent 10 years behind bars for the rape of a boy has become the 12th person in Dallas County to be cleared by DNA evidence.

    That is more DNA exonerations than in all of California, and more than in Florida, too. In fact, Dallas County alone has more such cases than all but three states _ a situation one Texas lawmaker calls an ''international embarrassment.''

    James Waller, 50, was exonerated by a judge earlier this week and received an apology from the district attorney's office after a new type of DNA testing on hair and semen showed he was not the rapist who attacked a 12-year-old a boy living in Waller's apartment building in 1983. The boy had been the chief witness against him.

    » Click to enlarge image

    James Waller, left, poses with Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck in Dallas after Waller was released from priso. Waller spent 10 years behind bars for the rape of a boy has become the 12th person in Dallas County to be cleared by DNA evidence. (
    (Photo/Innocence Project)
    ''It's been a long, horrible road,'' said Waller, who has been out on parole since 1993.
    Only New York, Illinois and Texas have had more DNA exonerations than Dallas County, which has a population of 2.3 million, according to the Innocence Project, a New York-based legal center that specializes in overturning wrongful convictions.

    ''These are appalling mistakes, and in the case of Dallas County, there have been so many,'' said Democratic state Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston, who is sponsoring a bill to create Texas Innocence Commission to scrutinize the state's criminal justice system. Ellis serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Innocence Project.

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  3. LionRun

    LionRun Former Member

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    This is astounding to have this many wrong convictions for one county alone. What is needed? Better, more thorough investigations? How could this happen? One saving grace is that at least today we have DNA where in some cases it can help prove the truth in a question of a wrong conviction.

    But, what about cases where no DNA was ever part of the case, yet the person is actually innocent? What about all of the people who were incarcerated before DNA could have possibly exonerated them?


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