Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Alejandro Hernandez

First NameAlejandro
Last NameHernandez
Year of Conviction1985
Year of Exoneration1995
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceYes
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeHispanic
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Five witnesses all testified working with victim at the time of the crime. ● Three witnesses all testified that another man confessed he was responsible for the crime in question.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Shoe print
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Not Disclosed
  • Valid (Excluded)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that latent fingerprints excluded defendant and co-defendants. Boot print evidence that excluded a co-defendant, see Cruz, was not disclosed to the defense.

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● He and his accomplices drove to the scene in a dark green, late model Ford ● Abducted girl’s lip was bleeding ● Victim was blindfolded, hit with a bat and kicked on head ● Victim was dragged on ground BUT gave incorrect description of a light and described an appliance being stolen from the house when nothing had been stolen. Apparently at his first trial, which was not obtained, a defense expert conducted an examination and found that he was “dull-normal”

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

“He proceeded to state that … on a certain day in February he was referring to a burglary. He was invited, had been planning with two other named individuals for some time a home located in Naperville, not too far off Route 65, a short ways from Aurora… They proceeded to the scene in a late model Lincoln Continental… Q. Did he describe the color of that car at all to you? A. Dark green…” “He described the little girl as, obviously, frightened. Her lip was bleeding and she was pleading that she wanted to go home.”

Quotes from prosecution arguments

“And what did he say about her was that she had a cut lip. And you heard the testimony of Dr. Cleveland that, in fact, Jeanine had a laceration that was through the upper lip, which is just right there. Now, where does that detail come from? Alex Hernandez…” “Where’s that detail come from…where does he get that kind of detail if it doesn’t come from the fact he knows about her.”

Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessCD, J
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies● Non-public details in codefendant Cruz’ reported and false confession, see False Confessions Appendix. ● Non-public details in jailhouse informant’s statements
Quotes from testimony #3

One informant admitted he had heard “rumors at the jail.” He then said – “A: I asked if he had – if he was involved in it. Q: And what did he tell you? A: Yeah, he was.” Non-public facts included: The murder occurred in an abandoned place. The victim was blindfolded and hit, then was dragged out of the house by her ankles, hit with a bat, dumped and stomped on the back of the head. The informant said defendant described an unusual night-light at the crime scene, “it was a nightlight on the black post that goes up and has four glass pieces, one on each side.”

Quotes regarding any deal or leniency with informant, or prior use of informant

One informant was facing contempt charges at time implicated Hernandez, and another received leniency on pending burglary charges.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Bruton
  • Jackson Claim
Claims granted, resulting in preexon. reversal
  • Bruton
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Hernandez, 521 N.E.2d 25 (Ill. 1998)
Illinois v. Hernandez, 488 U.S. 869 (1988)

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