Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

James Lee Woodard

First Name James Lee
Last NameWoodard
Year of Conviction1981
Year of Exoneration2009
State of ConvictionTexas
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeMurder
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Alibi witnesses described him being home all day of the crime at his girlfriend’s aunt’s house.

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

“I’m testifying because I’m an innocent man. What else can I do.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
Identity of eyewitness
  • Non-victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Eyewitness not told suspect might not be present in photo array. Eyewitness was acquainted with Woodard, having seen him in the apartment complex before.

Quotes from testimony #1

Eyewitness was not told that the suspect might or might not be in the photo array – “They didn’t say anything because I was looking at the photographs."

Unreliable Identification?

No ● But eyewitness saw car speeding away from apartment complex. She did not upon first interview with police tell them that she knew who the person was and the name of the person who she saw assaulting the victim in a car. Officer testified that eyewitness “said she did not know the name of the person” she had seen. She later said she had already known Woodard and had recognized him.

Quotes from testimony #2

Eyewitness testified, “I can’t recall a lot. You see, I was drinking that night. You know, I was tipsy.” Eyewitness had told police she was woken up by the sound of screaming, but testified that she had in fact been awake for some time.

Highest level reachedState Post­ Conviction
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Motion for DNA Testing
Citations to judicial opinions

Woodward v. State, 2005 WL 1155074 (Tex. App.‐Dallas 2005)