Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Lafonso Rollins

First NameLafonso
Last NameRollins
Year of Conviction1994
Year of Exoneration2004
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledIntellectually Disabled
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s foster father testified that defendant and he had lunch and went to defendant’s girlfriend’s house during the time the crime occurred.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Not Disclosed
  • Valid
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst had excluded Rollins and requested DNA tests, but supervisors refused the request for DNA testing; the stipulation regarding his analysis disclosed only that spermatozoa had been detected. See Maurice Possley, Lab Didn’t Bother with DNA, Chi. Trib., Aug. 25, 2006.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Composite drawing
  • Lineup
Suggestive Procedures


Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial non-identification

Quotes from testimony #2

“A: We had her view the lineup, yes. Q: And at that time that she viewed the lineup, she didn’t identify anyone, did she? A: She couldn’t positively identify anyone.” “Q: Isn’t it a fact that you were unable to pick anybody out of the physical lineup, meaning real people? A: Yeah. And you were unable to identify anybody in the physical lineup? A: That’s right.”

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Identified victim from series of photographs and signed photo ● Stated date of crime and address for crime at senior citizens home ● Described method of attack, as victim entered apartment, pulled a knife, told victim not to yell, and was given $60. ● Described ordering victim to take off clothes, masturbating on victim, and wiping self with pillow case before leaving. Serologist identified semen on victim’s pillow case.

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

“Q. Now, Officer, after Lafonso Rollins told you that he did not have any involvement with that particular offense, isn’t it a fact that you told him the actions of that offender? A. No, sir, it is not. Q. You never told Mr. Rollins what you believed to have happened to [the victim]? A. No, sir, I did not.” “He had stated that it was an old lady. There were a number of Polaroid photographs. I had him look through the photographs. When he got to the victim… he said, that’s the woman that I was talking about on January 9, 1993, the one that I robbed with a knife and then ejaculated on.”

Quotes from prosecution arguments


Interrogation RecordedWritten and signed confession statement
Highest level reachedNR

Read more about this exoneration