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01/04/2008 01:44 AM ID: 67460 Permalink   

Texan Exonerated After 26 Years in Prison


Charles Chatman appeared three times before the parole board, each time insisting he had not committed rape. Recently, DNA evidence proved he was not lying, and he was released from prison after serving 26 years of his sentence.

Chatman became the 15th inmate to be exonerated from the Dallas County prison system since 2001. No prison system in the nation has been shown to have wrongly convicted more people than Dallas County has. Texas leads the nation since 2001 with 30.

This is in part because the Dallas County crime lab retains biological evidence from crimes, unlike most jurisdictions in the U.S. Chatman, 47, was imprisoned in 1981 at the age of 20 after a rape victim picked him out of a line-up.

    WebReporter: l´anglais Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

a third of that mans life was taken from him. I hope he gets repaid somehow.
  by: robplatt   01/04/2008 02:15 AM     
I think it should be prison time for the woman who wrongly accused Charles of rape. I mean really, she swore in oath that Charles was the one who raped her. Obviously she didn't get a good look at him, and she played, 'any, miny, minus, mo!'
  by: slayer06   01/04/2008 03:17 AM     
Doubt that the woman did that on purpose. He probably did fit what she thought was the guy who did it. The mind will do lots of crazy stuff in situations like that. And to say she should be in jail for something like that is a little twisted. Of course if she truly did know it was the wrong guy and such then yes prison would be good. We will never know.
  by: the mobile kid   01/04/2008 03:24 AM     
  More at the source  
It says they lived only a few houses apart but didn't know each other. It could be that his was the only face in the line up she had seen before, and that she thought he must therefore be the rapist. I also imagine she probably really wanted to point the finger at somebody after what had happened to her.

This story really makes me hope that more jurisdictions start preserving DNA evidence, because this could happen to almost anyone.
  by: l´anglais     01/04/2008 04:05 AM     
  Texas Leads The Nation In Executions  
Makes you wonder
How many innocents have they murdered?
  by: ichi     01/04/2008 05:07 AM     
  To be fair...  
I think they should let Charles rape her. If you do the crime, you do the time... shouldn't it work the other way?
  by: tellgar     01/04/2008 06:58 AM     
But he was proven guilty.
  by: kmazzawi     01/04/2008 07:18 AM     
You pay the taxes that execute people as well as the rest of us. So its not a matter of how many "they" have murdered, its a matter of how many "we" have murdered. The Government forces us to kill the guilty along with the innocent.
  by: theillusionary   01/04/2008 07:29 AM     
  Really sad for the guy..  
all those years nothing in the world can give him that back. :(

Meam while the real rapists gets off.
  by: captainJane     01/04/2008 07:33 AM     
  lol @ tellgar  
  by: pas content   01/04/2008 07:50 AM     
Shows how badly screwed the justice system actually is. At least this guy wasn't executed though. I wonder what they'd do if they found out they'd killed an innocent man? Probably hide the evidence.

"Dallas County crime lab retains biological evidence from crimes, unlike most jurisdictions in the U.S." - This suggests that there are innocent people out there in jail without a hope of being proved innocent and released, scary!
  by: Maxx20     01/04/2008 09:48 AM     
I Could never live in Texas nor will I ever pay taxes in Texas.This is where they had to advertise in a New York paper for a psychiatric profesional to declare a mentally incompetant man competant to execute. They finally found one in New York,who,for a fee that would agree with the state.
  by: ichi     01/04/2008 10:07 AM     
I wonder what made me think he was black.
Call me crazy, but I've always had this feeling that this sort of thing would be widespread in Texas.
  by: BlackWidow   01/04/2008 12:08 PM     
OK, you're crazy.

I'm from Texas, and take my word, this state does not live up to the ugly stereotypes.

Dallas has had its racial tensions -- just like any other major city in the U.S. -- but also its black mayors, police chiefs, etc.
  by: l´anglais     01/04/2008 07:19 PM     
  Two Victims Suffer  
While the state and the rapist walk.
I have nothing but sympathy for the young lady and the gentleman.They were both victims of a rapist and an apparently botched or shoddy investigation.
  by: ichi     01/04/2008 07:22 PM     
  I Seem To Remember  
a criminal lab that worked in Texas and later a few other states that would go out of thier way to give detectives the results that they wanted rather than accurate results,The information was then used to convict possibly innocent people of serious crimes.The lab was aware of this as were the investigators.
What is a persons life worth anyway? These convictions will go a long way towards my career.
  by: ichi     01/04/2008 07:30 PM     
  If I was wrongly imprisoned for that long...  
I'm gonna want ALOT of $$$$$$$ as compensation!
  by: cgasucks   01/04/2008 08:25 PM     
  I suffered mightily  
When my ex falsely accused me of DV. I have also heard one half of all NYC rape accusations are false. Big gov uses false testimony by women to fill jails and prisons. Even cops lie in court on a regular basis. Defense lawyers only seek the big paycheck (300/hr). The US has the worst criminal justice system in the civilized world. It is digressing to the point of the Soviet Gulag system. Blame the Christian/Zionist/liberal/neocon/capitalist/money grubbing/establishment/byzantine/stovepipe/self-serving ARGHGHGHHG injustice system.
  by: IWMCB   01/05/2008 01:19 AM     
Yo, bad taste...not funny.
  by: Jediman3     01/05/2008 05:04 AM     
I thought it was pretty funny, Jediman... if she was here it might be different. She's probably upset she sent the wrong guy to jail.
  by: p_g_chris   01/05/2008 09:43 AM     
  This is why  
I'm against the death penalty.
  by: Mister crank     01/05/2008 01:55 PM     
  i have no sympathy  
for the 'young lady'.
she picked him even though she obviously wasn't 100% sure. and ruined his life.
show me another situation where you can destroy an innocent persons life either out of spite or negligence and still play the victim.

"Chatman, 47, was imprisoned in 1981 at the age of 20 after a rape victim picked him out of a line-up."
is that really all it takes? what a f***ing joke.
  by: hamstertube   01/05/2008 06:40 PM     
  I'd say one million per year  
for every year he was incarcerated would be a fair compensation.
  by: White Albino   01/08/2008 10:03 AM     
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