Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Donald Eugene Gates

First Name Donald Eugene
Last NameGates
Year of Conviction1982
Year of Exoneration2009
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionDistrict of Columbia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

No trial transcript

Types of evidence at trial
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • No Transcript
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

No transcript could be obtained.

Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessJ
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies‚óŹ Non-public facts - appellate decision described how – “A paid informant told police that a man, identified before and at trial as the appellant, had told the informant that: he had tried to rob “a young, pretty white girl;” she resisted, so he raped her; after reflection on the consequences of his actions, he shot her and left her in a park.”
Quotes from testimony #3

The Government’s brief described his testimony as follows – "Smith knew appellant’s first and last names and recalled having a specific conversation with him near the end of June, 1981, during the mornings hours, at the park at 25th and Pennsylvania Avenue. Appellant was ‘a little high’ because the men had all been drinking. Appellate told Smith during this conversation that ‘he went on a hell of a caper a couple [of] days ago. The caper consisted [of] robbing a pretty white girl. All he had was intentions to rob her, but she resisted. And after she resisted, he raped her. And they after it dawned on him what he had done, he shot her.’ Appellant told smith that the crime occurred in a park and that he had left the victim ‘cut and dry.’"

Quotes regarding any deal or leniency with informant, or prior use of informant

The informant had six other cases pending – he had an agreement with the Government "that a Superior Court larceny after trust case and three separate Maryland shoplifting cases would be dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Mr. Gates and his testimony in two other serious cases," He initially received $50 for his tip, and then $250 more, and then $1,000 from Crime Solvers after he testified in the Grand Jury

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Brady
  • Jackson Claim
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

Gates v. U.S., 481 A.2d 120 (D.C. 1984), Gates v. United States, 470 U.S. 1058 (1985)

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