Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Marlon Pendleton

First Name Marlon
Last NamePendleton
Year of Conviction1996
Year of Exoneration2006
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaBench Trial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Mother and step-father testified they woke defendant up and drove him to work the day of the crime; they also testified he had false teeth and no gold tooth as victim had described.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

Defendant interjected “You know I ain’t the one” during the victim’s testimony.

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Error
  • Not Disclosed (stipulation)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The defense stipulated to the forensic analyst’s conclusion that the evidence was insufficient for DNA testing, after the court denied motions to conduct an independent DNA test; later analysis found that sufficient material existed that DNA testing could have been readily conducted at the time of trial.

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

Yes ● Suggestive line-up – defendant was only person in line-up with hair shaved on sides, and only person with hair in braids in back. ● Show-up – victim was shown defendant in handcuffs prior to viewing lineup, and did not see any other lineup participants prior to the lineup.

Quotes from testimony #1

"He was in handcuffs with officers. Q. And who else was in handcuffs at that time, Ma’am? A. No. Q. The only person in handcuffs prior to you making this identification was this man? A. Yes."

Unreliable Identification?

No ● Discrepancies in description

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim described attacker as having rotten teeth and 170 pounds, while Pendleton was about 135 pounds and had teeth in good condition.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Sixth Amendment
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Pendleton, 706 N.E.2d 501 (Ill. 1998)
People v. Pendleton, 734 N.E.2d 897 (Ill. 2000)
People v. Pendleton, 749 N.E.2d 984 (Ill. 2001)
People v. Pendleton, 763 N.E.2d 775 (Ill. 2001)
People v. Pendleton, 787 N.E.2d 165 (Ill. 2002)