DNA Clears Texas Man after 30 Years in Prison

Friday, January 07, 2011
Cornelius Dupree Jr. and wife, Selma Perkins Dupree (photo: The Innocence Project)
It took the state of Texas 30 years to figure out that Cornelius Dupree Jr. never belonged in prison for aggravated robbery. After DNA testing proved Dupree was not the culprit of a 1979 attack rape and robbery attack on a 26-year-old woman, the Dallas district attorney’s office asked a local judge to exonerate the 51-year-old African-American, who was only 20 when he was convicted and sentenced to 75 years.
Dupree was paroled in July 2010, and less than a week later, got word that his DNA test cleared his name.
His case is the longest wrongful imprisonment in Texas history, surpassing the 27 years that James Woodard spent for a murder that he was cleared of in 2008 and the 27 years Michael Anthony Green spent in prison after being falsely convicted of rape. Green was released in 2010.
Since 2001, Texas has freed 41 wrongly convicted inmates through DNA analysis—more than any other state.
Twenty-one of Texas’ exonerations have occurred in Dallas, where a convict-at-all-costs mentality prevailed in the DA’s office for many years, according to current District Attorney Craig Watkins, the county’s first African-American top prosecutor. Watkins has assisted inmate-rights organizations in facilitating requests for DNA tests.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
DNA Clears Texas Man Who Spent 30 Years in Prison (by Jeff Carlton, Associated Press)
Texas Parolee Declared Innocent after 30 Years in Prison (by Marjorie Owens, Associated Press)
Innocent Man Released after 27 Years in Texas Prison (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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