Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CRIME NEWS: Will DNA Tests Free Johnnie Lindsey on Friday?

Let's hope Friday is a very, very good day for Johnnie Earl Lindsey.

That's because on Friday morning in the Crowley Courts Building, a judge may well order Mr. Lindsey's release from jail after Johnnie Lindsey's served almost 26 years for a crime he didn't commit.

That's right: they got the wrong guy back in 1981, for the rape of a 28-year-old woman near White Rock Lake. The victim identified Johnnie Lindsey as her rapist based upon six photos; only two photos showed men without shirts on (her rapist was shirtless) and Johnnie was one of those two.

Just one more example of how faulty eyewitness testimony can be.

No one listened to Mr. Lindsey when he argued that it couldn't have been him: he was at work at the time (he pressed pants and things at a commercial laundry and cleaners). Until now.

Thanks to The Innocence Project, Johnnie Lindsey's DNA has been compared to the DNA evidence from the crime scene. DNA has scientifically ruled out Mr. Lindsey as the rapist.

According to the Innocence Project, Johnnie Lindsey will be the 19th man in Dallas County to be cleared of a crime, after being convicted, since 2001.

The Integrity of Johnnie Lindsey

Mr. Lindsey is now 56 years old, setting in a jail cell assumedly relieved that the innocence he's been proclaiming though two jury trials and countless parole hearings has been recognized.

And why wasn't he released on parole long ago? Because of the severity of the crime, and the fact that he would not admit that he was guilty of raping anyone.

Johnnie Lindsay sat in jail since rather than confess to something that he didn't do, in order to gain his freedom. I think that's called integrity in some circles. Imagine that.

Think of it. Think of how long this man held onto his innocence, despite the sacrifice. To give you an idea, back in 1981:

1. Ronald Reagan was President;
2. Dallas was the most popular TV show;
3. "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes won a Grammy as the Record of the Year (that's right, record);
4. Chariots of Fire won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn won Oscars for their acting in On Golden Pond; and
5. Marcus Allen won the Heisman trophy and the Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl.

Seems cruel and unusual that Mr. Lindsey has to wait until Friday, doesn't it? And, to Mr. Lindsey: good luck to you, sir, and God Bless.



The Innocence Project

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