Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Steven Linscott

First NameSteven
Last NameLinscott
Year of Conviction1982
Year of Exoneration1992
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape and Murder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Defendant’s wife supported alibi

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

Defendant denied murdering the victim and described how he called the police and told them about a dream he had about the crime.

Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Vague
  • Valid
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Analyst found several hairs to be “consistent” and blood group markers detected were consistent with a mixture of the defendant and the victim’s markers.

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Described murder victim’s living room, including lighting, wood panels, table and door ● Describes weapon as a tapered metallic object, then tire iron or a blunt object (blood and hairs were found on a tire iron found in bushes in front of victim’s apartment building) ● Victim did not physically resist or scream ● Described attacking motions consistent with blood stains ● Described the victim receiving seven blows to the head and other blows on her body (consistent with autopsy) BUT Statement described a “dream” which incorrectly described the race of the victim, the location of the body, and did not describe stab wounds

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

“He physically stood there and demonstrated to [the two officers] by moving his arms how the woman was beaten.”

Quotes from prosecution arguments

“Steven Linscott not only described how a young lady had died in a living room setting, how she was first on her hands and knees and then fell to the floor. He demonstrated with up and down full extension of the right hand what he saw the man do. That is consistent with high velocity blood stains found on her body and the apartment.” “Suffice it to say in those tapes he supplied information only the killer … would and could know… He elaborated in detail…”

Interrogation RecordedAudio recording of part of interrogation
Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Brady
  • Jackson Claim
  • Jury Misconduct
  • Jury Selection
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • Willfull Destruction of Material Evidence
Claims granted, resulting in preexon. reversal
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • NP
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Linscott, 482 N.E.2d 403 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 1985)
People v. Linscott, 500 N.E.2d 420 (Ill. 1986)
People v. Linscott, 511 N.E.2d 1303 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 1987)
People v. Linscott, 566 N.E.2d 1355 (Ill. 1991)

Read more about this exoneration