Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Timothy Durham

First NameTimothy
Last NameDurham
Year of Conviction1993
Year of Exoneration1997
State of ConvictionOklahoma
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● A large number of witnesses testified that defendant was in Dallas all weekend when the rape was committed in Tulsa. ● Defense presented a number of credit card receipts bearing the defendant’s signature for purchases made at stores in Dallas throughout the weekend.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
  • Hair
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Error
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(4), (5) Hair frequency and unique characteristic testimony
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst testified that both Durham’s and the questioned hairs possessed a supposedly rare characteristic in which the hairs would not curl. The analyst had not seen this “in Caucasoid hairs. Typically in Mongoloid hairs, their hairs are typically very round and extremely difficult to mounted,” and adding “I haven’t” ever seen that occur in Caucasoid hair. The analyst also assigned a percentage to the reddish hue observed in the hairs, stating “I have seen it in less than 5 percent of the hairs that I examined. These particular hairs were especially light. I have not found any pubic hairs as light as these before.” See Part II.B.1 for a discussion of the hair comparison aspect of the case and II.C. regarding error in the laboratory analysis concerning the DNA testing.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures


Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Initial nonidentification at hearing ● Discrepancies in description – described pock marks and scarring on face of attacker – although at trial modified this to describe a “rough” complexion

Quotes from testimony #2

Durham had a beard at preliminary hearing, at which the victim was unable to identify him.

Highest level reachedNR

Read more about this exoneration