There is no greater injustice than being accused and convicted of a crime that you did not commit. A false conviction is a disgrace that can have a far-reaching impact on the wrongfully convicted, the victims of the crime, their families and communities, and on our society as a whole. Imprisoning an innocent person, leaves the real perpetrator free to commit more crimes.
If you or a loved one has been wrongfully convicted of a crime, you have the right to bring a civil lawsuit for damages. If you have questions that must be answered, seek the advice of an attorney who understands what you have been through and who can provide guidance on how to rectify this grave injustice.
In 1989, David Lee Wiggins was sentenced to life in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl. However, after writing the Innocence Project, DNA evidence has exonerated him.
The Innocence Project seeks to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners on the basis of more solid evidence, like DNA. Eyewitness misidentification, improper forensic science, and false confessions are all used as evidence and can convict the wrong person for terrible crimes.
Wiggins was accused of breaking into the girl’s Fort Worth home after she came home alone. Two fingerprints were found at the scene and did not match Wiggins, but the distraught girl picked him out of a lineup. She says she was able to see her attacker three times during the attack.
Wiggins contacted the Innocence Project, who filed for DNA testing for the first time in October 2007. The tests were inconclusive, but the group continued to work on Wiggins’ behalf and filed for a different type of analysis in 2010. The test used a scrap of sperm cell found on the girl’s boxer shorts, and this year, the test concluded that Wiggins was not the rapist.
“We had to make sure that we had it right,” Assistant Tarrant County District Attorney, Steven Conder, said.
“It’s eye-opening,” Conder said in an interview. “And it tells you as a prosecutor, even though you have a judgment, you want to be open to the fact that there might be a problem with it.”
Wiggins was in jail in Tarrant County, Texas, and is the second person in that county to be exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence. Once he is exonerated, Wiggins will be eligible for $80,000 assistance that the Texas government pays to wrongfully convicted prisoners.