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Milk Grenades

DNA clears man in prison for 26 years

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DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- -- Charles Chatman said throughout his 26 years in prison that he never raped the woman who lived five houses down from him.

Now 47, Chatman is expected to win his freedom Thursday on the basis of new DNA testing that lawyers say proves his innocence and adds to Dallas County's nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.

"I'm bitter. I'm angry," Chatman told The Associated Press during what was expected to be his last night in jail Wednesday. "But I'm not angry or bitter to the point where I want to hurt anyone or get revenge."

If released on bond at a Thursday court hearing as expected, Chatman will become the 15th inmate from Dallas County since 2001 to be freed by DNA testing. That is more than any other county nationwide, said Natalie Roetzel of the Innocence Project of Texas, an organization of volunteers who investigate claims of wrongful conviction.

Texas leads the country in prisoners freed by DNA testing. Including Chatman, the state will have released at least 30 wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001, according to the Innocence Project.

Mike Ware, who heads the Conviction Integrity Unit in the Dallas County District Attorney's office, said he expects that number to increase.

One of the biggest reasons for the large number of exonerations in Texas is the crime lab used by Dallas County, which accounts for about half the state's DNA cases. Unlike many jurisdictions, the lab used by police and prosecutors retains biological evidence, meaning DNA testing is a viable option for decades-old crimes.

District Attorney Craig Watkins also attributes the exonerations to a past culture of overly aggressive prosecutors seeking convictions at any cost.

Chatman's nearly 27 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault make him the longest-serving inmate in Texas to be freed by DNA evidence, Innocence Project lawyers said.

Chatman was 20 when the victim, a young woman in her 20s, picked him from a lineup. Chatman said he lived five houses down from the victim for 13 years but never knew her.

At the time the woman was assaulted, Chatman said he didn't have any front teeth; he had been certain that feature would set him apart from the real assailant.

"I'm not sure why he ended up on that photo spread to begin with," Ware said.

Chatman, who was convicted in 1981 and sentenced to life in prison, said his faith kept him from giving up.

Ware said Chatman would likely be released on a personal recognizance bond until the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals makes an official ruling

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that happened in ga, and they didnt apologize, but slapped homie with a huge child support payment amount he didnt pay while in prison

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good for him, man 26years of your life? are there any reparations for things like this?

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good for him, man 26years of your life? are there any reparations for things like this?

 

fuck this, this guy has missed out on pretty much his entire life. WHOOPS, sorry for the mistake!

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Wow tough break...I wonder if the chick who put him away is going to appologize.

 

"Hey hows it going! Yea I been meaning to tell you about that whole false rape accusation...*sigh*sorry about that...no hard feelings riiight? K bai!"

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\

"I'm bitter. I'm angry," Chatman told The Associated Press during what was expected to be his last night in jail Wednesday. "But I'm not angry or bitter to the point where I want to hurt anyone or get revenge."

 

if i had been in prison for 26 years on a bogus charge, the second i got out i'd be trying to hurt someone.

after 26 years, there is no going back to any kind of normal life

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If released on bond at a Thursday court hearing as expected, Chatman will become the 15th inmate from Dallas County since 2001 to be freed by DNA testing.

Texas leads the country in prisoners freed by DNA testing. Including Chatman, the state will have released at least 30 wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001, according to the Innocence Project.

 

that's a lot of people. can you imagine all the other people who don't have dna tests to help them out.

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Way to fuck a person up for good. He basically has to start from scratch!

They made him a freak, no one will hire him

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^^^^

 

I don't imagine he'll have to work a day in his life.

 

Unless he wants too.

 

Dude should get whatever he wants from the state until he's cold and dead.

 

exactly. how fucking ridiculous.

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Guest spectr

ok just a little warning.... Don't be black in texas, or it will take 26 years for you to get out of jail for a crime you didn't commit... that is of course if you don't get excuted before you get a chance to prove your innocence...

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I think when this happens you get a certain amount of money for every year in jail

It's not very much at all.

I will research this further and get back to yall.

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i feel like if you do 26 years and then you're found innocent, you have 26 years worth of crimes you can commit, you've paid in advance

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the state should be required to put dude in a house, buy him a car train and find him a reasonable paying job. 26 years is way to large of a chunk of anyones life to not be required to do something like that.

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i feel like if you do 26 years and then you're found innocent, you have 26 years worth of crimes you can commit, you've paid in advance

 

Co-signed.

 

 

...and 50grand x 26years = 1.3 million bucks. I think.

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I would brutally rape the lying bitch that put me in prison for 26 years out of principal.

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Bitter, Angry...UNDERSTATEMENT of the YEAR!

 

I'd demand millions upon millions of back pay, or a 40...Whatever comes first.

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