Mr. B–d, who had no prior criminal history, was facing seven to twenty-one years of mandatory prison time. He had previously shopped at the convenience store (and subsequently left fingerprints) in which the robbery took place. About a year later, he was picked out of a flawed photo lineup where the assailant was described as dark-skinned male. My client was the only African American whom the police saw fit to include in the photo array. (The facts of this case still get my blood boiling). The other “witness” the police questioned for use in their investigation was a crack addict whose story conflicted with the victims (just wait, it gets worse). The police also collected a vital piece of evidence, a Styrofoam cup, that could have provided a solid DNA link to the real assailant’s identity, but it was carelessly lost by a police officer who put it on the roof of his car, and it blew away. After strenuously litigating the case, the State dismissed right before trial after the victim realized that he identified the wrong person.

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