Charles Raby was convicted in 1994 of capital murder for the 1992 death of Edna Franklin, a frail 72-year old woman who was found stabbed in the home that she shared with her two grandsons.
No physical evidence connected him to the crime, he was convicted solely on the basis of a patently false coerced confession which did not match the evidence in many ways.
The jury never knew that the victim had the blood from an unknown male under her nails, and the prosecution did not disclose this to the defense, who conceded guilt.
In 1991, John Kunco was convicted of raping and beating a 55-year-old woman the previous December.
The victim claimed that her assailant’s voice sounded like the voice of a former maintenance worker in her apartment building named “John.” But she also said she had only spoken to Kunco once, never saw her attacker, and only identified Kunco based on his voice, and even then, not based on Kunco’s voice itself, but on a detective’s imitation of Kunco’s lisp.
The state’s case depended on the testimony of two bite-mark analysts. The police collected more than 40 other samples of forensic materials, including blood, hair and clothing fibers. None of it implicated Kunco. The bite-mark testimony was the only physical evidence linking him to the crime.
In 2009, DNA excluded Kunco as the source of biological material found on a lamp cord used to strangle the victim. His appeal was denied. In 2016, after two bite-mark skeptics within the ABFO submitted affidavits that were critical of the bite-mark testimony, the State’s experts submitted their own affidavits retracting their testimony and analysis. In May 2018, Kunco’s attorneys announced that they believe new DNA tests have exonerated their client.
Source: “Yet another bite-mark conviction is unraveling” Washington Post, May 21, 2018
Update May 23, 2018 : New trial awarded
Dorian Lanier died in hospital on 19 November 1997 of chronic and acute arsenic poisoning. His wife Pamela was subsequently convicted of his murder.
According to a 2004 ruling denying an appeal:
“Dorian and defendant had a contract to grow turkeys for Nash Johnson and Son Farms. Dorian used a turkey medication called Nitro-3 on his turkeys, which was administered through the turkeys’ water supply. Dorian had a proportional medication system between his house and his turkey houses, where Nitro-3 was mixed with water in a bucket called a proportioner; the mixture then ran through a water hose to the turkey house. The hose had a bypass valve that allowed one to draw fresh water, without Nitro-3, out of the hose. Nitro-3 contains arsenic and stains yellow any object with which it comes in contact.”
“Although Dorian knew the turkey medication contained arsenic, several defense witnesses, including defendant’s son, nephew, mother, father and a family friend, testified that they had seen Dorian drink from the hose attached to the turkey medication. Defendant’s son, defendant’s father and an EMT testified that Dorian told them at the hospital on 19 November “he had done [this] to himself.””
The central question in the case is whether the turkey medication could have been responsible for his death. The case has been featured on “Undisclosed Podcast”. In Episode 4, the conclusion is that it’s very plausible that the turkey medication was the cause, and Dorian ingested the medication. Based on new expert opinions, a new appeal should be filed.