DNA Frees Dallas Man 25 Years After Rape Conviction

DALLAS (AP) – A judge has ordered the release of a Dallas man after declaring that DNA evidence showed he should not have been convicted of sexual assault 25 years ago.

State District Judge Gracie Lewis on Thursday ordered 61-year-old Larry Sims freed on a personal recognizance bond while his case is processed. Lewis apologized to Sims on behalf of the state of Texas for his imprisonment.

Dallas County prosecutors did not oppose Sims’ release.

The victim who accused Sims of rape testified that she didn’t have sex with another man in a group at a party. But a recent test found DNA from the other man and not Sims.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Ed DiGirolomo

    I am as pro law and order as they get, BUT every effort MUST be made to prove guilt. It is becoming more and more evident that the level of “reasonable doubt” must be very low in light of the increasing number of false convictions. The “convict at any cost” mentality of prosecutors is a major factor. Another is the “we’ve got you” attitude of the police.

    As the code of justice is often quoted “Its is better to let a dozen guilty persons go free rather than to falsely convict a single person”. This apparently is NOT relevant in todays legal system.

    Regardless of lapsed time, ANY evidence that can determine the quilt or innocence of a convicted person MUST be allowed, especially in light of the newest technology that can be used.

    Society cannot tolerate injustice and turn a blind eye to any process that may change previous evidence. This works also to substantiate a conviction.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/hearing-to-look-at-dna-from-1986-sex-assault-case/ Hearing To Look At DNA From 1986 Sex Assault Case « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Hearing To Look At DNA From 1986 Sex Assault Case A hearing Thursday could be the next step toward freedom for a Dallas man convicted of sexual assault 25 years ago. Go to News Source […]

  • David S

    I have to agree with Ed on this. Personally I think that DNA evidance should be a requirement in new assualt cases and that old cases in which those convicted before DNA evidance was used should be looked at IF the person convicted claims innocence AND agree that if DNA evidence confirms they(the convicted) are guilty they will be on the hook for the full cost of the testing. Obvously if the convicted is found innocent then they are not on the hook.

  • Nancy

    This is just another example of how things are rushed through our courts. I know someone who had one of the worst lawyers known to man, a judge that let the same lawyer falling asleep in court go unnoticed, and a DA that let a truthful testamony of the accuser go unchalanged by the same lawyer that fell asleep, not that he would have done anything anyway – he did not care if he got his client off or not – the accuser had said that the charged man did not touch her, that her mom had made her say that he did. No how is this for justice, he is working on his 9th year wrongfully in prison. Hope our current lawyer can get him out and get him pardened so he can get all the money from the state that he is entitled to for being wrongfully imprisoned.

    • A. Davis

      Things are rushed thru in Texas and especially if you are of a different race other than what the judge is. I love Texas but I was worried when I had sons as I knew that if they did something they would be railed roaded into the system. So as a mom I was forever vigiliant and was glad when they left Texas and moved to other states.

      • Mike D.

        ‘Railed Roaded?” Really? How about instead of worrying about your kids being in court with a judge of a different race, teach them morals and values so that they stay out of the court system completely….there’s an idea! I’m sure it won’t matter what state they move to because if they are criminals, they will end up in jail regardless! Ignorant.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/dna-frees-dallas-man-25-years-after-rape-conviction/ DNA Frees Dallas Man 25 Years After Rape Conviction « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] DNA Frees Dallas Man 25 Years After Rape Conviction A judge ordered the release of a Dallas man after declaring that DNA evidence showed he should not have been convicted. Go to News Source […]

  • Pking

    With all of the overturned convictions, Texas should be the first in line to abolish the death penalty; not first in executions. Just imagine all of the innocent people that have been executed pre DNA. And why is it that 98% of them are African Americans?

    • schrodinger

      “98% of them are African Americans” because a white guy wouldn’t get a break like this. It’s all about reparations, my friend.

      • PKing

        A white guy is rarely fasley convicted. Look at Dallas County alone. How many of the DNA overturned cases have been African American ( or any minority for that matter)? To take it a little further, how many accidental police shooitngs or police brutality cases have been minorities? We have studies on all types of issues and conclude that if it is negative, it is Black. Tell me when are we going to address the “White” serial killer or “White” child molester, or “White” mass murderer. We’ve seen the “Black” side now let’s look at a speciial TV program on the ugly “White side” of America.

    • BlacksRCriminals

      98% are African Americans because it’s the black people that commit more violent crimes than anyone else!!! Truth hurts huh?

      • Pking

        If mass murder, child molestations, and serial killers are not violent crimes that tell me what are. In each of the above cases it is the white man that are the Usual Suspects, i.e. BTK killer, James Wayne Gacey, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy, The Culumbine Killers, The Jonesboro AR, Killer, The Fort Hood Killer,

        The media has always been good at highlighting/sensationalizing Black offenses. All others are casuallly mentioned and after a day or so …no news
        It is okay to burn LeBron James’ uniform, but Jay Cutler (oh no!! this is uncalled for) Neither should have ben burned. The most violent crimes in America had to do with slavery/Jim Crow/Civil Rights….But good ole White people don’t commit crimes

  • james

    How about we make a law that says the prosecutors who try the case have to do the same amount of time as any innocent person they convict.If they are so sure of guilt that should not be a problem goes for death penalty cases as well.Maybe that would slow there “convict at any cost mentality”.

    • Honor Kirk

      James, we would have to arrest most of the law in Smith County Texas (for their handling of the Linda Jo Edwards murder and the bogus case against Kerry Cook) and Charles Sebesta (the prosecutor in the Antony Graves exoneration).

  • Nancy Bennett

    Murder is the reason the death penalty exists. You take someones life, you forfeit you own. I was on Federal Petit jury for 2 years. If you are involved, you understand a lot more. They have to prove it to you. I believe in the death penalty, it does prevent it from happening again.If they are gone, they cannot do it again. Come on, they get years of appeals before they are put to death.

    • Honor Kirk

      Nancy should be embarassed for her ignorant and baseless comments. Putting someone in jail for the rest of their lives also keeps murderers off the street and leaves open the possibilities of exoneration. 141 innocent men and women hae been free from death rows across the countries, exposing the glaring police and prosecutorial misconduct, faulty eyewintness testimony and junk science that put these innocent human beings in the jail to begin with. And the appeals process only looks for procedural errors from the case, never addresses any evidence that may be exculpatory or new evidence that may have emerged post conviction.
      The only countries in the world that execute more of its own citizens than the good ol’ USA and Texas for that matter are China and Iran. And I for one and not proud to be a member of that club.
      Nancy, you should be ashamed of yourself and you need to quit bradcasting your ignorance on a national forum.

  • BubbaD

    The lady should be held liable as well for knowingly lying to the police and testifying about her sexual encounter that night both criminal and civil.

  • james

    well Nancy what is the acceptable number of innocent people to be put to death?WE have seen over and over again the horrible mistakes that can be made do you that some how by magic that it cant happen in a death penalty case the same standards apply guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Courtier

    Spend 20 Millions on DNA Test for ALL Inmate. Free 200 Innocent Men.
    Save $200 Millions Dollars.

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