Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Allen Coco

First NameAllen
Last NameCoco
Year of Conviction1993
Year of Exoneration2006
State of ConvictionLouisiana
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“Q: Sir, what do you know about the attack that was committed on [the victim]? What do you know about that? A: Nothing, really.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

No semen was detected in the rape kit evidence; instead blood stains from the scene were analyzed, and they exhibited the same substances as Coco.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Composite drawing
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Victim not told attacker might not be in line-up

Quotes from testimony #1

Officer recalled “I told her if she happens to spot the subject in question that these were possibilities, to point to the subject and handed her the lineup.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initially uncertain ● Discrepancies in descriptions, including tattoos, hair, facial hair ● victim also had PTSD, flashbacks

Quotes from testimony #2

“Q: Ma’am, you said that when you picked him out in the lineup, he didn’t look the same or–he didn’t look the same. Is that what you said earlier? A: I said that he was more clean-cut than he looked in the lineup.”

Highest level reachedNR
Citations to judicial opinions

State v. Coco, 731 So.2d 555 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1998)

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