Forensic DNA has helped to exonerate over 330 individuals convicted of crimes they did not commit.
Robert Gonzalez was jailed for over two years for the rape and murder of eleven year old Victoria Sandoval before Israel Diaz was arrested for an unrelated burglary in Albuquerque, NM. Under “Katie’s Law” in New Mexico, those arrested for felonies are required to provide a DNA sample. Diaz’ DNA matched to the crime scene DNA from Victoria Sandoval’s rape and murder. As a result of this match Robert Gonzalez was subsequently exonerated. Diaz has since been convicted of Sandoval’s rape and murder.
Jerry Hobbs spent five years in jail wrongfully charged with the murder of his daughter and her friend before Jorge Torrez was arrested for a felony in Virginia. Under Virginia’s arrestee DNA law, Torrez was required to provide a DNA sample ad it matched crime scene evidence that eventually exonerated Jerry Hobbs.
To date, post-conviction DNA testing has led to the exoneration of more than 300 wrongfully convicted individuals in the United States, and many of these individuals were not fully exonerated until after a DNA match was made on the database to another offender.