Time Served: 8 Years
Because of a DNA mix-up, Dwayne Jackson spent nearly four years in Nevada prisons for a crime he did not commit.
On November 6, 2001, a Las Vegas woman and her two young daughters were accosted in their home by a man in a mask holding a baseball bat. The attacker demanded money, but the woman only had $23 in her wallet. Upon seeing the woman’s bank card, the intruder forced the woman and her children into their car and made her drive to an ATM machine to withdraw more money. No money was available in the account, so they began to drive back to the house.
By this time, the woman’s husband had returned with their son, determined something was wrong, and set out to look for his wife and daughters. He spotted the vehicle with his wife and the intruder still inside and when he approached the vehicle, the intruder fled with the baseball bat. The woman described the intruder as a black youth wearing a ski mask and a dark blue hooded sweatshirt.
Jackson and Grissom were arrested and each provided DNA samples, which were tested by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department crime lab. They found that Jackson’s DNA matched the profile found on the sweatshirt and he was charged with burglary, robbery and three counts of kidnapping.
Neither the woman nor her husband could identify Jackson as the woman’s assailant, so the DNA match was the only evidence connecting Jackson to the crime. However, facing a life sentence if convicted, Jackson pled guilty to one count of robbery in exchange for dropping the burglary and kidnapping charges. He was sentenced in January 2003 and released in late 2006.
Charge: Robbery, Burglary, Kidnapping
Sentence: 4 Years
Incident Date: 11/06/01
Conviction Date: 01/01/03
Exoneration Date: 07/01/11
Served: 8 Years
Race of Defendant: African American
Compensation: Civil Suit, Private Bill
Type of Forensic Science Problem: DNA
Status: Exonerated by DNA
Innocence Project Involved: No
Death Penalty Case: no
Real Perpetrator Convicted of Subsequent Crime: No, Yes
Type of Crime: Other
Race of Victim: Unkown
Contributing Causes of Conviction: Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science
Accused Plead Guilty: Yes
The Alternative Perpetrator Identified: Yes