Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Gary Dotson

First NameGary
Last NameDotson
Year of Conviction1979
Year of Exoneration1989
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

Missing transcript of defense case

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
  • Vague
Reason why invalid(1), (2) Masking, Failure to Exclude
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The victim and Dotson were both B secretors. B blood group substances were identified on the victim’s panties and the analyst testified that the donor was a B secretor. However, due to masking, those substances could have entirely originated with the victim and any male could have been the donor. The analyst also did not exclude Dotson despite finding in another stain A antigens foreign both to the victim and Dotson, explaining “The A stain – – I can’t say the A stain, I can’t say that blood is A, I can’t say that blood is B, all I can say is that material was blood, and a mixture of – – it could be perspiation [sic], could be other body fluids in combination of B and H activity” and that those A substances could have come from “lots of materials; dust, wood, leather, certain kinds of clothes, different cloth materials, detergents in materials…” The analyst testified that questioned hairs were “consistent” with the defenant.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Victim
Suggestive Procedures

No transcript – victim later recanted her identification and admitted she fabricated the crime report

Highest level reachedState Post­ Conviction
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jackson Claim
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Sentencing — Noncapital
  • State Court Newly Discovered Evidence Claim
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • HE
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Dotson, 424 N.E.2d 1319 (Ill. App. 1981)
People v. Dotson, 516 N.E.2d 718 (Ill. App. 1987)
People v. Dotson, 522 N.E.2d 1249 (Ill. App. 1988)

Read more about this exoneration