Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Ryan Matthews

First Name Ryan
Last NameMatthews
Year of Conviction1999
Year of Exoneration2004
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionLouisiana
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeMurder
Death SentenceYes
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledIntellectually Disabled
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s DNA was not on the mask that gunman wore.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • DNA excluded
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid (Excluded)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Testimony by defense analyst only regarding DNA that excluded.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Non-victim
Multiple eyewitnesses2
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
  • Showup
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Show-up properly conducted immediately following incident ● Eyewitness not told attacker might not be in line-up.

Quotes from testimony #1

“It was more like, ‘We think we got the suspect and the car. Would you identify it?”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Discrepancies in description – height ● One witness could not see the face of the gunman, who wore a mask

Quotes from testimony #2

“Q. This person you saw running down the street with the mask on, how tall do you think he was? A. He was approximately 6’0”. Q. Six foot? A. Approximately. I’m not sure. Q. He wouldn’t have been 5’4”, 5’5”, huh? A. I’m actually unsure. It’s been a while. It has been a while.” Second eyewitness also described shooter as six feet tall.

Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessCD
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and InconsistenciesFor co-defendant Travis Hayes’ reported and false confession (one which contained no nonpublic details) see False Confessions Appendix
Highest level reachedNR
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