Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Perry Mitchell

First NamePerry
Last NameMitchell
Year of Conviction1984
Year of Exoneration1998
State of ConvictionSouth Carolina
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Doctor who performed rape kit testified that there was no sign of recent sexual intercourse and no “gross evidence” of trauma to vagina ● Two witnesses testified to seeing defendant immediately before the attack wearing a black cowboy hat and boots. Victim did not describe her attacker wearing either of these articles of clothing.

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

Defendant presented his alibi.

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(3) False probability
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The victim was an A secretor and the defendant an O secretor, and the samples were consistent with an O secretor. After testifying that 35% population secretes O, the analyst explained that “You would probably have to also cut that by another 50% because we’re dealing with males.” When the defense pointed out that the 35% of both men an women are O secretors, and that as to the 35% that “[t]here’s no difference between men and women in that regard,” the analyst answered “In that regard but there is a difference in regard to semen.” See Part II.A.3 for a description of this invalid division.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures


Quotes from testimony #1

“She went straight to it , picked it up and said this is the man that raped me. I said are you positive? She said absolutely”

Unreliable Identification?


Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Harmless Error Rulings
  • HE
Citations to judicial opinions

State v. Mitchell, 336 S.E.2d 150 (S.C. 1985)

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