It doesn’t always take DNA to show a flawed conviction.
Thomas Cress is proof of that. Last month, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm commuted Cress’ conviction for the 1983 murder of a Battle Creek teen.
Doubts about Cress’ case surfaced through reports by the Detroit Free Press. They included a 1992 confession to the murder of the 17-year-old girl by a serial killer arrested in Arkansas.
There apparently had once been DNA linked to the crime. But as Free Press reported, the prosecutor at the time ordered it destroyed — after learning of the other man’s confession.
Cress’ case also spurred the development of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, which takes cases where there is no DNA or biological evidence. The clinic succeeded in getting the convictions of two others reversed last year.
Of the 29 inmates exonerated in the U.S. and Canada last year, 17 had their convictions reversed without DNA.
Read the report from the Innocence Network: