Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

David Bryson

First Name David
Last NameBryson
Year of Conviction1983
Year of Exoneration2003
State of ConvictionOklahoma
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Witness testified that defendant attended his class, far from the crime scene, beginning about 30 minutes after completion of the crime, and that defendant’s behavior and appearance was in all respects normal ● Defendant’s father and mother both testified that defendant was at home at the time of the crime

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

When asked if he kidnapped, raped, and sodomized victim, defendant testified “No.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
  • Not Disclosed
Reason why invalid(2) Failure to exclude, (4) non-numerical probability statement.
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that as to the hair comparison, “it would be impossible not to be able to distinguish hairs from two different individuals.” As to serology, although A blood group substances were found, which were inconsistent with the victim and defendant, yet the analyst did not exclude. DNA testing was not conducted at the time of trial, because the analyst had represented that the relevant evidence had been destroyed.

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

Yes ● Suggestive remarks – told person identified was in custody ● Eyewitness not told attacker might not be in line-up

Quotes from testimony #1

"Q: Do you remember making the following statements?…’Did you know they had a person in custody when you got the phone call to inquire about the photographs? Answer: Yes.’ Do you remember making that? A: I don’t remember what I said. Q: Okay, and then the next question. ‘How did you know that? Answer: Because they told me.’ Do you remember making that answer in response to that question? A: Well, I just don’t remember…"

Unreliable Identification?

No ● Discrepancies in description – facial hair and glasses

Quotes from testimony #2

"Q: So there was no distinct mustache? It was just as if a man had let his beard grow without a razor touching it for two or three days? A: That’s what it appeared to me. Q: Now during this time, you were not wearing your contacts were you? A: No, I wasn’t.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Cruel and Unusual
  • Jury Instructions
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • State Law Evidence Claim
  • Suggestive Eyewitness Identification
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • OG
Citations to judicial opinions

Bryson v. State, 711 P.2d 932 (Okl.Cr.,1985)
Bryson v. Oklahoma, 476 U.S. 1121 (1986)

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