Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Shainne Sharp

First Name Shainne
Last NameSharp
Year of Conviction1994
Year of Exoneration2012
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaGuilty Plea
Type of CrimeMurder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • DNA excluded
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Excluded
  • Valid
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Group drove victim to field near expressway. ● Drawstring placed in victim’s mouth, victim hit ● Victim raped in bushes by expressway, struck with gun, shot with small automatic gun in the mouth ● Victim waiting baseball team shirt, blue and white, blue jeans BUT – DNA did not match defendants. Gym shoes and other objects not observed at crime scene.

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Guilty Plea – No trial. "Q. Explain to us how the conversation did proceed. A. Well, when you’re conducting an interview, you want the subject to give you information- certain information about the crime that only the killer would be aware of. So you let him give you that information so this way you know that he was at the scene, he was involved, ’cause this is information that only the killer would know."

Quotes from prosecution arguments

"How do we know these guys, these two, Sharp and Veal, told us the truth that date when they testified about what happened that day? There 14 are two things at least that should stand out in your mind. The first thing — perhaps there is four. The first thing was they told us somebody punched [the victim] … It really doesn’t matter who it was because the girl got punched: And you know what, we know they are right because the medical examiner told us. There was a bruise on her face and I can tell you that bruise was inflicted right at the time of death." “They also said that James put the gun right into her mouth. Now, who would know that unless they were standing there? And they were right. It’s corroborated by the medical examiner’s testimony. He said there was soot on the tongue… They wouldn’t know that unless they were there with the killers, unless they were part of the killers."

Interrogation RecordedWritten and signed confession statement
Highest level reachedNR