Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Dwayne D Scruggs

First Name Dwayne D
Last NameScruggs
Year of Conviction1986
Year of Exoneration1993
State of ConvictionIndiana
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s uncle and cousin testified to being with defendant throughout the day when the crime occurred.

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

“Q: You have already said, in answer to – the questions that the officers asked you – did you – do you know, first of all, [the victim]? A: No I do not. Q: Have you ever seen her before today? A: No I have not. Well, yesterday. Q: Before this trial started? A: No I haven’t. Q: Did you commit, or do what this is all about? In other words, did you rape her and rob her? A: No I did not.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Mug shots
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Suggestive line-up – defendant only person in army jacket ● Suggestive remarks – told victim that all photos were of persons who had committed sexual assaults

Quotes from testimony #1

“I explained to her that the photo file that we have are all individuals who have been arrested for rape or a sex assault.” Victim recalled that the officer also “Said to be absolutely sure and that the pictures were not up-todate” “After I had a conversation with her and after the taped statement, then I felt the clothing was important in this case” Officer then took a photograph of Scruggs wearing an armygreen jacket. The victim describe the attacker as having worn a “green Army jacket without the hood.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initially uncertain

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim stated in taped statement taken following photo array, that “A. About 98%. Q. About 98% sure that this would probably be the guy? A. Yes.” By the time of trial, however, she was “positive.”

Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel
Citations to judicial opinions

Scruggs v. Duckworth, 948 F.2d 1292 (7th Cir. 1991) (Table)

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