Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Troy Webb

First NameTroy
Last NameWebb
Year of Conviction1989
Year of Exoneration1996
State of ConvictionVirginia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(1) Masking; (2) Failure to exclude
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Webb was a nonsecretor and the rape kit swabs exhibited an A type that could not have come from victim. Yet Webb was not excluded and was said to be included in the 20% of the population who are non-secretors. The analyst testified that “it’s a possibility because I stated you have to have two or more seminal fluids present in that mixture. If that is indeed true, then, yes. There’s one possibility a non-secretor can be present. Definitely an A secretor is present because we found A which is foreign to the victim.” See Part II.A.1 for a description of the problem of masking and non-quantification and discussion of similar cases.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Suggestive Procedures

Yes● Suggestive line-up – only four of the photos matched description regarding age of culprit ● Second photo array conducted, with an older photo of the defendant in the second array, the only photo repeated

Quotes from testimony #1

Detective testified that two of six photos in array “don’t meet the age description.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes● Initially uncertain

Quotes from testimony #2

“Well, as best I canrecall, I asked her something about a hundred percent. She nodded, no, she couldn’t be one hundred percent. I said, well, ninetynine? And she said, yes. Whether she said ninety-nine first, I don’t know; but I think I suggested it as a way of working down from a hundred percent sure.”

Highest level reachedAppeal
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Jury Selection
Citations to judicial opinions

Webb v. Com., 397 S.E.2d 539,(Va. App. 1990)

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