Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Clarence Harrison

First NameClarence
Last NameHarrison
Year of Conviction1987
Year of Exoneration2004
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
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Witnesses testified defendant periodically came and went to their house throughout the night that the crime took place.

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

“Q: Mr. Harrison, did you rape [the victim]? A: No, I didn’t. Q: Do you know who did? A: No. Q: Do you have any knowledge whatsoever of this crime? A: No more than, you know, what Iheard, what Kenney said and what people said on the street, you know. Q: Have you ever harmed her in any way? A: No, I haven’t.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1) Masking
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The victim was an A secretor and Harrison was an O secretor. The swabs exhibited A and O antigens. The analyst testified: “The only group of the society that could be definitely eliminated would be type B secretors and type AB secretors.” “That would eliminate approximately 22 percent — I think that’s right, about 22 percent of the population.” “Considering that Mr. Harrison is a type O secretor, he would fall within that group of the population who could not be eliminated as a semen donor.” See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases. Hair comparison excluded the defendant.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses2
Lineup Procedures
  • Composite drawing
  • Photo array
  • Showup
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Show-up – showed second eyewitness composite prepared by the first ● Victim not told attacker might not be in line-up ● Suggestive line-up

Quotes from testimony #1

Victim asked “if the photograph of the person who committed the crime against her’s photograph was among the six.” Second victim showed Harrison’s photo first – “Q: Did he show you this picture before he showed you the other pictures or after he showed you the other ones? A: He showed me this picture first. Q: Showed you this picture first.” She saw the composite, “a big old picture” on the detective’s wall when viewing photo array.

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Discrepancy in description – facial hair, mustache and goatee ● One witness unsure

Quotes from testimony #2

Attacker “was cleanshaven,” but most people in photo array had mustaches or beards. Second victim wavered between saying he had a mustache and no beard, and both. She said “well, it might have been” a mustache, and added “Like I said, I forget faces too quick.” She added that “I am not one hundred percent sure.”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jackson Claim
  • Sentencing — Noncapital
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • HE
Citations to judicial opinions

Harrison v. State, 370 S.E.2d 7 (Ga. App. 1988)
In re Harrison, 489 U.S. 1009 (1989)

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