Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Alan Crotzer

First NameAlan
Last NameCrotzer
Year of Conviction1982
Year of Exoneration2006
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionFlorida
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Palm print did not match defendant but another person ● Four witnesses testified that defendant was with them at the time of the crime.

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“Q: You have been in here as various people have been identified as victims of the crimes with which you are charged. Do you know any of these people? A: No sir. Q: Have you ever seen any of these people before other than proceedings surrounding these charges? A: No sir.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
  • Vague
Reason why invalid(1), (2) Masking; false probability
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Victim and Crotzer were both O secretors and were PGM 1. Swabs also exhibited blood group substances consistent with Type O, PGM 1. The analyst testified, “I can only say it was either from a nonsecretor or person of ABO Type O secretor PGM Type 1” which constitute “38.4 percent of the total population.” Dividing that figure by two, she testifies that only “approximately nineteen percent” of males could have contributed. Not only was that division false, but more fundamental, where the substances found were entirely consistent with the victim, they could all have originated from the victim. Any male could have been the donor. See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases. Analyst testified that hair “could have” originated from defendant.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses5
Lineup Procedures
  • Showup
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Show-up – one victim could not identify him in photo array, so was given single photo – and still could not pick him out. Another victim did identify him after being shown photo that two other victims had selected. ● Victim not told attacker might not be in line-up

Quotes from testimony #1

The detective asked “if any of the individuals he was showing looked at all familiar” One victim said “I believe I was [shown a single photo of Crotzger] Q. “You believe you were but you did not pick him out? A. That’s correct.” Additional victim testified that she “had seen one [photograph of Crotzer” that [two other victims[ had signed.” “Q. You only identified it after you say [the two other victims] sign it; is that right? A. Yes, yes.” One of the other two who identified the photo of Crotzer similarly identified it only after his wife, also a victim, had identified it and signed the back of the photo.

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial nonidentification ● Discrepancy in description – complexion

Quotes from testimony #2

One victim described the attacker with the gun (identified as Crotzer” as light complected, which he was not. One victim did not identify from two different photo arrays, testifying “they just didn’t look positively enough for me to say definitely it is the person” – she then identified him at the preliminary hearing, where he was. Another similarly could not identify him from the photo array, and was then shown a single photograph of Crotzer, but could not pick him out. He did identify him at trial, stating, “There is a little difference between a picture and flesh.” Additional victim could not identify from photo arrays. She did then identify his photo, but only after being shown the photo that two other victims has selected and signed.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Citations to judicial opinions

Crotzer v. Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, 763 So.2d 324 (Fla.App. 2 Dist. 2000)

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