Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Dewey Davis

First NameDewey
Last NameDavis
Year of Conviction1987
Year of Exoneration1995
State of ConvictionWest Virginia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Four witnesses testified that defendant was drunk and nonfunctional on the night of the crime.

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

“A: …[The victim] has been aroundme drunk, sober, and whatever all through her life and she’s also been respected. Q: Can you think of any reason then why she would say in open court, point to you and say you are the man that sat and watched her while she was raped, and begged you for help, and you said, “No, I can’t help you. I ain’t your uncle”? A: I can’t figure why she said that.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1), (2) Masking and Degradation used to Ignore Exclusion
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The victim and Davis were both O secretors and were both PGM 2+1+. The stain analyzed exhibited A blood group substances, inconsistent with both the victim and Davis. The analyst testified: “The A could possibly be a false positive and be due to bacterial contamination because of the condition of the evidence when it was submitted, not so much the way it was submitted, but because of the condition the materials were in and the stains deposited on them.” The analyst not only failed to exclude Davis, but then testified that putting to one side the A, the perp would have to be an O secretor, PGM 2+1+. “What I am saying is that it would be approximately 7 to 8 percent of the general population of West Virginia, and half of that would be approximately three and a half percent of the male population of West Virginia.” However, that O PGM 2+1+ material could have come solely from the victim.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Suggestive Procedures

No – but Acquaintance

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

State v. Davis, 388 S.E.2d 508 (W.Va. 1989)

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