University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Ron Williamson, who came within five days of execution, and Dennis Fritz, who served twelve years of a life sentence, were released from prison in 1999. They were innocent men, wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of Debra Carter. Arrested five years after her murder and tried separately, the cases against them rested on testimony of a jailhouse informant, a jail trainee, and unreliable hair evidence. Fortunately, there was DNA evidence in the case, and scientific testing exonerated Fritz and Williamson. The evidence instead implicated Glen Gore, the person who should have been the prime suspect. Many of these facts came to light only when Fritz and Williamson filed a civil rights actionlafter Williamson's conviction for murder was overturned (primarily on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel).

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