Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Brian Piszczek

First NameBrian
Last NamePiszczek
Year of Conviction1991
Year of Exoneration1994
State of ConvictionOhio
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Witness testified that defendant did not come home late. ● Defendant never wore and earring as the victim described (defendant did not even have has ears pierced).

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid (Non-probative)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Analyst admitted that any male could have been the donor.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Victim not told attacker might not be in line-up – instead told to look in photo array for person who assaulted her

Quotes from testimony #1

Officer testified “I advised her that I was going to show her a mugshot, a photo line-up consisting of single photographs. And I gave her instructions that she was to be looking for the individual that had sexually assaulted her.” When victim identified the defendant almost immediately, she was told to look again to make sure.

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial nonidentification – did not tell police acquainted with attacker initially ● Discrepancy in description – ear piercing

Quotes from testimony #2

Initially told police that attacker’s name was Tim or Tom. “Q: Did you ever tell the people at the hospital you knew who it was that committed this crime? A: No. Q: You did not do this? A: No. Q: When the police first came on July 29th, did you tell them that you knew who committed the crime? A: No.” And “six weeks after what happened, still I was still hysterical. More down the line, things come back to your memory and not as bad as it was in the beginning.” Victim described how the attacker wore a distinctive earring, “a cross with a turquoise” and “it has a chain, too.”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Jackson Claim
  • Suggestive Eyewitness Identification
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
Citations to judicial opinions

State v. Piszczek, 1993 WL 106966 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1993)

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