Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Ronald Taylor

First NameRonald
Last NameTaylor
Year of Conviction1995
Year of Exoneration2008
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionTexas
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defense presented another man who was dressed in the exact way victim described and had a history of sexual assaults.

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

No semen detected on bra or underwear. “I didn’t have anything to link Ronald Taylor or anyone else.” Later analysis detected sufficient spermatozoa that could have been analyzed, including by using DNA testing.

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

Yes ● Suggestive line-up and video line-up – “because: (1) appellant was the only suspect wearing a white undershirt matching W.A.’s description of the suspect; and (2) the videotape showed a victim from another attack crying and becoming sick when appellant stepped forward.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Could not see face of attacker ● Discrepancies in description – weight. Did notice missing tooth – but did not mention it in initial statement.

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim told police she could not see attacker’s facial features in the dark. Victim “remembered” missing tooth only when shown video lineup.

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Suggestive Eyewitness Identification
Citations to judicial opinions

Taylor v. State, 1997 WL 167849 (Tex. App. 1997)

Read more about this exoneration