Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Calvin Crawford Johnson

First NameCalvin Crawford
Last NameJohnson
Year of Conviction1983
Year of Exoneration1999
State of ConvictionGeorgia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother testified that defendant was asleep at his girlfriend’s house the night of the first attack. ● Defendant’s mother testified that defendant was asleep at her house the night of the second attack.

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“Q: Did you rape [the victims]? A: No, sir. Q: Have you told the truth today, Calvin? A: Yes, sir.”

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 an A secretor and Johnson an O secretor. Vaginal swabs had A and H blood group substances. The analyst told the jury that the donor group is 44% who are O secretors + 20% who are non-secretors + however many are A secretors (analyst never said), leaving out the B and AB secretors. Yet 100% could have been the donor where the substances found were consistent with the victim’s. 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 eyewitnesses4
Lineup Procedures
  • Lineup
  • Photo array
  • Showup
Quotes from testimony #1

Yes ● Discrepancies in description – facial hair, hair ● Initially nonidentification – two victims picked fillers in line-up

Unreliable Identification?

Second victim “couldn’t say for sure” whether attacker had facial hair but told police that it was not abeard. A third victim described “some” facial hair. The Fourth said “I don’t remember a beard.” She testified that at the lineup “I picked the wrong one, and I knew it.” She explained “I just wanted to get this thing over with” and “I wanted to get out of there.” Third victim did not identify him in photo array, but did in lineup. Fourth victim did identify him in photo array, but identified filler in lineup, and then identified him in court, explaining, “I am a little more relaxed today, though.”

Highest level reachedState Post­ Conviction
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jury Instructions
  • Sentencing — Noncapital
  • State Law Evidence Claim

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