Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Douglas Warney

First NameDouglas
Last NameWarney
Year of Conviction1997
Year of Exoneration2006
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionNew York
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledMentally Ill
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Two witnesses testified that defendant was at home the night when the crime occurred.

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

Defendant described his alibi and recanted his confession. He said he was “being threatened” during the interrogation and that he signed the confession statement “Because I was being forced by threats to submit this statement…”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Fiber
  • Fingerprint
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid (Excluded)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that “the blood deposited on the blue tissue could not have come from either the Defendant Mr. Warney or the victim Mr. Beason.” As a blue towel, “The blood could not have been deposited by the victim nor the suspect.”

Unreliable Identification?

description – location of

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Victim was wearing a nightshirt ● Victim was cooking chicken ● Victim was missing money from his wallet ● The murder weapon was a knife that was kept in the kitchen, about 12 inches with serrated blade ● The victim was stabbed multiple times ● The victim owned a pink ring and gold cross ● The timeframe of the killing ● There was tissue used as a bandage covered with blood ● There was a pornographic tape in the victim’s television BUT inconsistencies included that there was no evidence of the stabbing or struggle in the kitchen. Defendant had a history of mental illness.

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Detective was emphatic when asked “did you suggest any answers to him,” that he did not.

Quotes from prosecution arguments

“Now, who could possibly know these things if you hadn’t been inside that house, inside the kitchen? You heard the Defendant say that he took money . . . You know the wallet was found upstairs, empty, near the closet. . . You will see photographs of it. . . You heard the Defendant say that he stabbed [the victim] with a knife taken from the kitchen. . . . Where did they keep it? They kept it in a drawer under the crockpot where the chicken was cooking. Now, who would know the chicken was cooking? A person who got that knife and used it against [the victim], the killer.”

Interrogation RecordedWritten and signed confession statement
Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Miranda or Edwards Claim
  • Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Warney, 299 A.D.2d 956 (N.Y. App. Div. 4 Dept. 2002)
People v. Warney, 790 N.E.2d 289 (N.Y. 2003) (Table)
Warney v. McGinnis, 2006 WL 2482017 (W.D.N.Y. 2006)

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