Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Jerry Miller

First Name Jerry
Last NameMiller
Year of Conviction1982
Year of Exoneration2007
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
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 father testified that defendant was home with him watching a fight throughout the evening that the crime occurred.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses3
Lineup Procedures
  • Composite drawing
  • Lineup
  • Photo array
  • Showup
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Show-up – first identification procedure conducted at trial ● Suggestive remarks

Quotes from testimony #1

Victim acknowledged at trial that the prosecutor had told her that “two other people have said he is the attacker.” Victim was never asked to participate in a photo array or lineup to that included Jerry Miller (although this was not entirely clear because she did not recall array and it was not preserved; if she did see Miller’s photo she did not identify him). In contrast, two non-victim .eyewitnesses were shown such a photo array, in which one identified Miller and one only tentatively identified him.

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initially uncertain (and uncertain at trial) ● Discrepancies in description – facial hair – goatee

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim was tentative at trial, saying “that young man over there looks like him.” She had told police she “wasn’t sure” whether she would be able to identify her attacker. Victim had picked out “two possibles” in photo array but did not identify either one. One eyewitness described a “light mustache” and “peach fuzz” but no goatee. One eyewitness not certain of identification when viewing photo array.

Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Fourth Amendment
  • Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel
  • Suggestive Eyewitness Identification
Citations to judicial opinions

Miller v. Godinez, No. 92 C 1707, 1995 WL 124106 (N.D.Ill., March 21, 1995)

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