Innocence Project: DNA Proves Man Innocent after 47 Years, DNA tests that Excluded him at 1976 trial were ignored


The critical DNA profile developed from the crime scene evidence was subsequently uploaded to state and local DNA databases, leading to the true assailant. He was identified through this DNA. And has confessed to the crime.

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 The groundbreaking exoneration of Leonard Mack is the longest-known wrongful conviction to be overturned based on new DNA evidence known to the Innocence Project. 


Innocence Project points to errors in the case


His exoneration wouldn’t have been possible without the diligent efforts of the Innocence Project, the Westchester County District Attorney, and the Conviction Review Unit, all committed to seeking the truth.

In Mack’s case, racial bias was evident as he was arrested based on little more than matching the assailant’s race. Such racial disparities persist in wrongful convictions, with innocent Black Americans being seven times more likely than white Americans to be falsely convicted of serious crimes, according to the Innocence Project’s data.

Despite having alibi witnesses and serological evidence from the victim’s underwear that excluded Mack in 1976, he was convicted and sentenced to prison for seven and a half years. For the past 41 years, he carried the weight of this wrongful conviction.