Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Paula Gray

First NamePaula
Last NameGray
Year of Conviction1978
Year of Exoneration2002
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeFemale
Race of exonereeBlack
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledIntellectually Disabled
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● N/A

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

“Q: The story that you told before the Grand Jury, where did that story come from? A: The State had made me tell a lie. . . . Q: Now, directing your attention to the deceased parties, did you at any time see these parties while they were alive? A: No. Q: Are you aware of any of the circumstances–what if any of the circumstances are you aware of that caused their death? A: None.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(2) Invalid use of serology
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

See Adams case above on the testimony concerning a supposedly unusual agglutination phenomenon. The analyst here testified: “Q. And could you please tell the ladies and gentlemen of these two juries what if any determination you were able to make as result of your test. A. That it contained Group A blood and also had distinct characteristic of showing up slight agglutination in the O well which would indicate person had H substance found in his blood.” The analyst testified that questioned hairs were dissimilar to Gray’s.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Non-victim
Suggestive Procedures

No – eyewitness Acquainted with defendant

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial nonidentification – did not make an identification until offered police assistance and relocation

Quotes from testimony #2

See Adams.

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Location of crime scene ● Where cars were parked ● There were two victims ● One victim was kept at the bottom of the stairs in the abandoned house ● The second victim was shot twice in the head from a very close range ● The first victim was taken to a field and shot twice in the head and once in the back

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

“[S]he had taken us into the building and somewhat described the events that took place, you know, prior to the two victims being killed. . . . After we were in the apartment and she kind of ran the think down to use she took us across the street to a creek and showed us where the second victim was found.” She said Dennis Williams “held the gun in his hand, he reached down… He took the gun and put it right next to her head and fired two shots into her head.” As for the second victim, “They walked him across Cannon Lane out into the field down by Deer Creek… She told me that he handed the gun to Willie Rainge… and Willie Rainge fired one shot into the man’s back.”

Quotes from prosecution arguments

“Paula Gray made a statement to certain members of the police department and to certain members of the State Attorney’s office and to a duly constituted Grand Jury. The Defense has alleged that this was a State induced statement. The difficulty with this is that the statement that she related to you and its content fits like a hand into a glove all the other evidence that the State had adduced.”

Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Jackson Claim
  • Motion for DNA Testing
  • Sentencing — Noncapital

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