Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Donovan Allen

First NameDonovan
Last NameAllen
Year of Conviction2002
Year of Exoneration2015
State of ConvictionWashington
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty Plea2 Trials
Type of CrimeMurder
Life / LWOP sentenceLife without parole
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Informant
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies
During 14-hour overnight interrogation, defendant stated “I probably did it” after being given “voice stress tests” and told he had failed. In tape-recorded statement, stated that he choked victim with telephone cord, hit her with rifle twice until stock shattered.  He stated that he washed blood off from gun in shower.
But – medical examiner testified that victim was struck in head four times before being strangled and no blood was found in shower.
Post-conviction expert stated that the confession contained “many of the indicia of unreliability that are commonly seen in false confessions. There are errors in the confession narrative (facts which do not ‘fit’ the objectively knowable evidence), false fed facts (facts which support an early police theory of the case which was not borne out by the evidence), and there is a lack of corroboration (no proceeds of the robbery, no metal cash box, no bloody clothes).”
Interrogation RecordedAudio-taped statement
Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessJailhouse informants (two)