Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Marvin Mitchell

First NameMarvin
Last NameMitchell
Year of Conviction1990
Year of Exoneration1997
State of ConvictionMassachusetts
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1) Masking
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Stains exhibited blood groupings consistent with Type O, which was the victim’s type. However, Mitchell was an A secretor. The analyst testified, “Mr. Mitchell could not be excluded. No secretor could be excluded from depositing that stain because the stain may have been too diluted or graded to pick up Mr. Mitchell’s blood type. So I cannot exclude him, but I cannot say that I found the A blood group type.” While it was correct that Mitchell was not excluded, the analyst never explained that no donor could be excluded; the analyst stated that only secretors can not be excluded. See Part II.A.1 for a description of this case.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Coerced Confession
Harmless Error Rulings
  • HE
Citations to judicial opinions

Com. v. Mitchell, 619 N.E.2d 619 (Mass. App. Ct. 1993)
Com. v. Mitchell, 625 N.E.2d 1368 (Mass. 1993) (Table)

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