Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Bernard Webster

First NameBernard
Last NameWebster
Year of Conviction1983
Year of Exoneration2002
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionMaryland
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Two witnesses testified to seeing defendant far away from crime scene immediately prior to when crime occurred.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1) Masking
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The victim was type B (secretor status not determined), and Webster was type A. The stain exhibited A and B blood group substances, so the perpetrator could have been an A or AB secretor. However, the analyst testified that perpetrator “should have been a Type A.” See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses3
Lineup Procedures
  • Lineup
Suggestive Procedures

No – little description of line-up

Unreliable Identification?

No – vague description of attacker

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Wade Counsel at Lineup Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

Webster v. State, 474 A.2d 1305 (Md. 1984)

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