Andrew M. Coffey, P.A.
Call for a Free Initial Consultation
Local 954.406.9272
Specialist in Florida Criminal Trial Law

DNA shows Florida man may have been wrongly convicted

DNA testing may exonerate a man who has served seven years on Florida's death row for two murders he says he didn't commit. The man's lawyers were in court recently requesting a new trial. If his conviction is overturned, the man will join a large number of people around the country whose convictions on felony charges have been thrown out by new DNA evidence.

The man was convicted in 2006 of the brutal murders of a 47-year-old woman and her 68-year-old mother. The accused, a neighbor of the two women, was convicted based on mostly circumstantial evidence. But juries can give circumstantial evidence just as much weight as direct evidence, and in this case some of the circumstantial evidence suggested guilt: the victims' blood was found on the man's clothes, and he stuffed his bloody clothes in a bag and tried to hide them.

The man's original trial counsel did not request any DNA testing. His new lawyers conducted an investigation and ordered DNA tests, and they say the results show none of the accused man's blood at the crime scene. They argue that another daughter of the mother was the killer; a lot of her blood was found at the scene. That woman had a history of mental illness and had argued with her mother before the murders.

As for the circumstantial evidence against the man, his lawyers argue that he rolled the mother over after he found her body, getting her blood on his clothes. They say the man panicked because he was an illegal immigrant and was afraid he'd be deported.

Unfortunately wrongful convictions are not unheard of, and developments in DNA testing have brought a number of these grave injustices to light. Prosecutors who want to appear tough on crime sometimes send the wrong person to prison. In this case, the man was sentenced to death. He is fortunate his defense lawyers were able to get the new DNA evidence in front of a judge before it was too late.

Source: New York Times, "Lawyers Say DNA Clears Florida Inmate in Two Killings," Lizette Alvarez, May 13, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Certified | The Florida Bar | Criminal Trial Law

Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

Super Lawyers

Recently Named Florida Super Lawyer

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation
Andrew M. Coffey, P.A. | Attorney at Law

Andrew M. Coffey, P.A.
208 SE 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Toll Free: 888-332-3451
Phone: 954-467-5700
Fort Lauderdale Law Office Map

E-mail Us
Review Us