DNA tests published last week have raised questions as to whether the condition of Arkansas may have executed the wrong man in relation to the 1993 sexual assault and murder of 26-year-old Debra Reese.
One of the tests, published from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Innocence Project on Friday, showed that genetic material in a male not matching that of this person executed for the crime was found to the murder weapon. Ledell Lee was executed by the country for Reese’s murder in 2017. Lee maintained his innocence until the end, telling the BBC day prior to his departure :”My dying words would always be as it’s beenI am an innocent man.”
“While the results acquired 29 years following the evidence was collected was partial and incomplete, it’s noteworthy that there are currently new DNA profiles that were not accessible throughout the trial or post-conviction proceedings in Mr. Lee’s case,” Nina Morrison, senior litigation counsel at the Innocence Project, said in an announcement. “We’re optimistic that one or more of those forensic law enforcement databases will generate additional data in the future.”
As stated by the advocacy groups, which filed a lawsuit a year ago to access the DNA evidence used to convict Lee, tests showed the club was able to overcome Debra Reese to passing, and the bloody shirt the weapon was wrapped in, both showed DNA material from an unknown male whose genetic profile didn’t develop any games in a nationwide database. Neither the club nor the top contained Lee’s DNA, although there was”moderate support” showing that blood found of Lee’s left shoe could have come in Reese.
There was no direct physical evidence that implicated Lee because Reese’s killer, and his appellate attorney later filed an affidavit to the court acknowledging that he fought with substance abuse issues while representing his client also was unable to offer a suitable defense for Lee, the Washington Post reported.
Mitochondria testing was performed on six strands of hair held in evidence. Lee was fully excluded as the source for five, however he couldn’t be ruled out because of”possible source” for one, the ACLU and Innocence Project stated.
“Mitochondrial DNA testing examines DNA shared with individuals in a typical maternal line, such as remote relatives; it can be utilized to exclude known individuals as the source, but cannot be the foundation for complete identification or individualization,” the groups said in a joint press release.
In an statement given to local CBS affiliate THV11,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) stated the evidence showed Lee’s guilt”beyond a shadow of doubt.”
“After 20 decades, I’m prayerful that Debra’s family has had closure following his legal execution in 2017.”
Have a tip we need to know?