Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

John White

First NameJohn
Last NameWhite
Year of Conviction1980
Year of Exoneration2007
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionGeorgia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defense argued victim made mistaken identification.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(5) Invalid
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that the questioned hair and the defendants hair “shows sufficient similarity to say or conclude that the hairs were of the same origin.”

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Composite drawing
  • Lineup
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Suggestive Remarks – detective told victim he had caught somebody ● Repeated photo – defendant’s was only person in live line-up whose photo victim had seen in array

Quotes from testimony #1

“He said he had caught somebody. He wanted to know — they wanted me to go see — to a lineup.” Officer explained that because he thought photo did not look like the defendant, he conducted a live line-up.

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initially uncertain ● Discrepancy in description –age, facial hair – mustache, speech

Quotes from testimony #2

Officer recalled that victim said “Well, on this photograph, on John White, I know I’ve seen him before and I’m almost positive that he’s the person that raped me.” Victim was not wearing glasses during attack, did not describe a mustache, but rather called the attacker “clean shaven.” Sheriff recalled the victim having described a person who was “in his late 20s, medium height, round face, no moustache.” On age, having described the attacker as a “black man” but at trial as a “kid,” she testified “I don’t know age too much. I said he could be around twenty, maybe in his late thirties, I wouldn’t know.”

Highest level reachedNR

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