Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Josiah Sutton

First NameJosiah
Last NameSutton
Year of Conviction1999
Year of Exoneration2004
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionTexas
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

● The defendant’s testimony supported the alibi.

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

No transcript of defendant’s testimony.

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
  • Not Disclosed
Reason why invalid(2), (3) Invalid DNA testimony, failure to describe exculpatory test results
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that “No other two persons will have same DNA except in the case of — of identical twins” without mentioning any random match probability. Evidentiary samples were mixed and findings on one test in combination with the second test excluded Sutton as a contributor; see description of the case at Part II.C.

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

Yes ● Show-up

Quotes from testimony #1

Victim shown Sutton sitting in a police cruiser, five days after the crime.

Unreliable Identification?

No ● Discrepancies in description – height, weight

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim described attacker later identified as Sutton as 135 pounds and 5’ 7” and certainly shorter than the victim who was 5’ 10.” Sutton was 6 feet tall and 200 pounds at the time. In addition, victim could “not clearly” see his face, as there was only a moment before that attacker pulled a wool cap over his face.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Harmless Error Rulings
  • NP
Citations to judicial opinions

Sutton v. State, 2001 WL 40349 (Tex. App.‐Hous. 14 Dist. 2001)

Read more about this exoneration