|Date / Location:||July 3, 1987 and August 5, 1987, Washington D.C.||Conviction:||One count of rape in the first degree, one count of assault with attempt to rape|
|Year of Conviction:||1987||Release Date:||Spring 1990|
|Sentence:||Never Sentenced||Sentence Served:||9 months|
|Real perpetrator found?:||Not yet||Contributing cause to wrongful conviction:|
Edward Green became the first person in the District of Columbia to be exonerated by DNA evidence. On July 3, 1987, a woman was raped on a footbridge in Southeast DC. On August 5, 1987, a second victim managed to escape a similar rape attempt and alert the police. After being arrested near the scene of the crimes, Green was charged with rape and assault with intent to rape.
At trial, the prosecution’s case hinged upon the testimony of the two victims, both of whom positively identified Green in court. One of the victims also selected Greene out of a photo array and lineup, while the other identified him in a “show-up” conducted on the street. Green’s blood type also matched that of the assailant. After three hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Greene of rape, while acquitting him on charges of assault with intent to rape.
Even after his conviction, Edward Green steadfastly maintained his innocence. Prior to sentencing, the defense conducted DNA testing on fluids found on the victim’s clothes, comparing them with blood samples provided by Green and the victim. Despite several objections by the prosecution, the trial judge postponed sentencing proceedings, pending the results of the DNA testing. In February of 1990, world renowned laboratory, Cellmark Diagnostics, issued a report excluding Edward Green as the source of the semen found on the victim’s clothes.
Based upon this conclusive evidence, the DC Superior Court granted a defense motion for a new trial on March 19, 1990. Subsequently, the US Attorney dropped all charges against him and Green soon became a free man.
Edward Green continues to use his experiences as a platform to speak out against the perils of wrongful conviction and was prominently featured in a 2006 Washington City News article about the promise of DNA testing and the challenges faced by those seeking to use it to establish innocence. To date, Edward Green has not been compensated for his nine months of imprisonment on the false rape charges, nor has the true rapist ever been found.