Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Paul D Kordonowy

First NamePaul D
Last NameKordonowy
Year of Conviction1990
Year of Exoneration2003
State of ConvictionMontana
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Witnesses described that at the time the crime occurred, defendant was miles away and his car was disabled.

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

Missing transcript for defense case

Types of evidence at trial
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(2), (4) Invalid hair probability; failure to exclude based on unsupported selective degradation theory
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that unknown hairs “match” Kordonowy’s, that for each there is a 1 in 100 probability of a match. The analyst then multiplied that made-up number, claiming that hairs from different parts of the body are “independent events,” and multiplied that figure to arrive at a 1 in 10,000 probability of a match. Kordonowy and the victim were both O secretors but A secretions found on swabs. Kordonowy should thus have been excluded. However, the analyst testified when asked “Q. Is there anything else that could be responsible for the presence of the A secretion?” that, “A. Yes, in this case there was a large amount of bacteria, which I noted, and it has been reported that a large amount of bacteria can give you an A Substance reading in your analysis because your ABO substances are sugars, and bacteria also produce sugars.” No such phenomenon regarding selective degradation exists. See Part I.A.2 for a discussion of this case.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jackson Claim
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
Citations to judicial opinions

State v. Kordonowy, 823 P.2d 854 (Mont. 1991)

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