Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Ben Salazar

First NameBen
Last NameSalazar
Year of Conviction1992
Year of Exoneration1997
State of ConvictionTexas
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeHispanic
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s wife and brother-in-law testified that he was home the day of the crime

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid-3
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst described B and PGM 2- substances detected that were both foreign to the victim, who was a non-secretor, and the victim’s husband. However, A, B and O substances were observed. The statistic presented to the jury assumed that the semen donor exhibited just the B type consistent which the defendant possessed, and did not present the entire included population, which could possess A and B.

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

Yes ● Show-up – shown single photo of Salazar

Quotes from testimony #1

After initial photo array, showed victim two more recent single photos of Salazar. “Q: And in going through those books did you pick out a picture of a person that you knew was the person who had sexually assaulted you? A: Yes Q: And did you finally learn who that person was? A: I saw the picture and I told Sergeant Merrill that it looked like him and he showed me a recent picture. And when I saw that one I knew it was him.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initially uncertain ● Discrepancies in description – height, position of tattoos

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim never described tattoos, which Salazar had on arms and hand, and described attacker as 5’5” or 5’7” while Salazar was 5’2”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jackson Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

Salazar v. State, NO. 3‐92‐376‐CR (1993)

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