Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Kenneth Waters

First NameKenneth
Last NameWaters
Year of Conviction1983
Year of Exoneration2001
State of ConvictionMassachusetts
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Co-worker testified in support of the alibi. Defendant was in district court at the time of the murder.

Types of evidence at trial
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Not Disclosed
  • Valid
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

In the grand jury, the police testified that there were no usable fingerprints from the murder scene. In fact, the prints were usable and other suspects were cleared on the basis of prints. The latent fingerprint analyst cleared Waters as well, but the exclusion was not shared with the prosecutor or the defense.

Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessIW
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies● Non-public facts included in alleged admissions to exgirlfriends regarding victim and how murder took place
Quotes from testimony #3

“Q. What did he tell you about this murder? A. He told me he killed her. Q. ‘Did he give you any further description of who, ‘her,’ was? A. Well, he referred to her as an old German bitch. Q. Did he tell you anything more particular about the murder? How he did it? A. Stabbed her. Q. Did he tell you anything else about the murder? A. That he took money and jewelry.” Second informant testified: “Q. What did he say? A. —a German lady that went in the diner quite a bit and had a lot of money in her trailer because she was going back to Germany. Q. Did he tell you anything else about the money? A. That he’d like to get it.” “A. I asked him if he killed that woman back there. Q. What did he say? A. Yeah, what’s it to you?’’

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Brady
  • Coerced Confession
  • Jackson Claim
  • Jury Instructions
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

Commonwealth v. Waters, 506 N.E.2d 859 (Mass. 1987)
Commonwealth v. Waters, 511 N.E.2d 356 (Mass. 1987)

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