Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

George Rodriguez

First NameGeorge
Last NameRodriguez
Year of Conviction1987
Year of Exoneration2005
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionTexas
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeHispanic
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Two witnesses testified that defendant was at work when the crime occurred. ● Witness testified to seeing two other men – and not defendant – with victim around the time of the crime.

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

“Q: Are you the person [the victim] described as the fat man? A: No, sir. . . . Q: Have you ever driven a 1984 Chrysler Cordova [vehicle driven by perpetrator]. White over green? A: No, sir. . . . Q: Other than what you have heard here in court today, do you know anything at all about this offense? A: No, sir, I don’t, just that I don’t believe it, you know, about the girl saying it was me. She is confused or something. I don’t know what is wrong with her, and I know the cops don’t like my family. That I know. Q: I’m asking you what you know and not what you think about thepolice not liking your family. Do you know anything about the offense? A: Well, no, really I don’t. I just know I have been accused of it. That’s all I know. Q: And you know something else, don’t you? You know you didn’t do it, don’t you? A: Yeah, I know I didn’t do it. . . . Q: Would you ever rape anyone? A: No, sir, never in my life. Q: Have you ever raped anyone? A: No, and I never will.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Error
  • Invalid
  • Not Disclosed
  • Vague
Reason why invalid(1), Masking; failure to exclude; Concealment; incorrect testing
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The victim and Rodriguez were both O nonsecretors. Another suspect was an O secretor. The stains exhibited A blood group substances. The analyst testified that Rodriguez could not be excluded, but the other suspect could, “because he is a secretor and the grouping would be O, one would predict his genetics would show up as a donor in a sexual assault or intercourse. None of those O secretions did show up by the testing by Ms. Kim.” See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases. However, the A substances excluded Rodriguez. In addition, later analysis by independent lab found that other suspect was in fact an O nonsecretor, not a secretor. See The analyst found questioned hairs to be “consistent” with the defendant.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Lineup
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Victim not told attacker might not be in line-up ● Defendant’s photo repeated in three procedures, and did not provide any other procedure that included second photo victim identified

Quotes from testimony #1

“I told her to thumb through the photo album and the pictures and take her time and study the faces and that if she saw anyone that she recognized as far as being associated with this incident that she should not say anything until she viewed all the pictures and then she should call that to my attention that she recognized whatever pictures they were.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial nonidentification – picked two photos from line-up ● Discrepancy in description – tattoos

Quotes from testimony #2

Picked another photo from line-up and told police that “it looked like him.” Victim did not see any tattoos on attacker. She saw attacker’s face for only three or four seconds.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Sentencing — Noncapital
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
Citations to judicial opinions

Rodriguez v. State, 766 S.W.2d 358 (Tex. App.‐Tex. 1989)
Rodriguez v. State, 766 S.W.2d 360 (Tex. App.‐Tex. 1989)

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