Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Joseph Fears

First Name Joseph
Last NameFears
Year of Conviction1984
Year of Exoneration2009
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionOhio
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

● Two alibi witnesses testified.

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

No – victim was an Acquaintance

Unreliable Identification?

No ● Discrepancies in description – facial hair, hair, one witness’ inability to provide any description

Quotes from testimony #2

One described a mustache, while another a goatee. One described a short afro, while another described hair that was slicked down. A third eyewitness said, “I couldn’t describe something from that night. It was almost a year ago.”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jackson Claim
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • State Court Newly Discovered Evidence Claim