Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Calvin Ollins

First NameCalvin
Last NameOllins
Year of Conviction1988
Year of Exoneration2001
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife without parole
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledIntellectually Disabled
Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Error
  • Invalid
  • Vague
Reason why invalid(1), (2), (3) Masking; false probability, failure to exclude
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst never explained the finding in lab report of a PGM type foreign to victim. Instead, the analyst testified that 37% of the population shared Ollins’ type, without explaining that Ollins was not a secretor and could not have been the donor. Further, the PGM allele 1+ that was attributed to Ollins could have originated from the victim. As Dr. Edward Blake concluded in his report evaluating the case, the analyst “failed to state that her findings eliminated Larry and Calvin Ollins, Sa[u]nders, and Bradford unless there was another semen source who was an ABO type O secretor.” Dr. Edward Blake, Review of the Testimony of Pamela Fish, January 9, 2001. See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases. The analyst testified that questioned hair was “similar” or “could have” originated from defendant.

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● The victim was raped. ● The victim was killed by being smashed in the head with a piece of concrete ● The victim was kicked repeatedly.

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Transcript could not be obtained (confession statement was obtained)

Quotes from prosecution arguments

Transcript could not be obtained

Interrogation RecordedWritten and signed confession statement
Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessCD, IW
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies● Non-public details reported in co-defendants Bradford’sreported and false confessions (Calvin Ollins also falsely confessed), see False Confessions Appendix. ● Two cooperating witnesses reported additional details
Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Coerced Confession
  • Fourth Amendment
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Ollins, 595 N.E.2d 1295 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 1992)
People v. Ollins, 595 N.E.2d 1295 (Ill. App. 1 Dist. 1992)
People v. Ollins, 606 N.E.2d 192 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1992)
U.S. ex rel. Ollins v. Cooper, 1997 WL 567794 (N.D.Ill. 1997)
Ollins v. Cooper, 202 F.3d 274 (7th Cir. 2000)

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