Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Frank Sterling

First Name Frank
Last NameSterling
Year of Conviction1992
Year of Exoneration2010
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionNew York
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeMurder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Ballistics
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Location of murder on walking trail. ● Victim was wearing "a purple top or two-toned and dark pants," ● Victim was hit and kicked, and had pants taken off. ● Victim shot with a BB gun, thrown on trail BUT ● Signs victim was dragged into brush, not that she fell into the brush as described ● No entire BB Gun found. ● Victim was wearing a purple jacket with white stripes

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Officers described having asked open-ended questions, such as, “I asked ‘What clothing did she have on?’”

Quotes from prosecution arguments

“Truthful? How does the defendant know it’s a purple jacket or purple top? A guess? Instead of saying yellow, red, orange, blue, black, green, gray, brown? He just guesses purple? And what is she wearing? A purple jacket, coincidentally, a two tone sweater… you also that that [the police] never releated to the media, held back from the media, was the purple jacket.”

Interrogation RecordedVideotape of part of interrogation
Highest level reachedAppeal