In the last six days, two men from Harris County have been released from prison due to DNA evidence of their wrongful conviction. A state district judge has ordered the release of Michael Anthony Green, who served more than 27 years in prison on a rape charge, the longest of any exonerated person in Texas. He was convicted primarily on the basis of mistaken eyewitness identification. According to the Houston Chronicle (“DNA clears Houston man 27 years after conviction,” July 28, 2010), Green’s lawyer “credited attorneys and investigators in the Post Conviction Review Section of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office with finding a pair of jeans stored in a warehouse that had been worn by the victim during the crime, then testing it for DNA evidence. The results excluded Green.”
The Chronicle notes that Allen Wayne Porter also was “released last Friday after serving 19 years for a June 1980 rape conviction. Though DNA testing appeared to clear him in 2004, it was not until last week that a judge ordered him freed after those who committed the crime testified Porter was not involved.”
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will review the cases of both Allen Wayne Porter and Michael Anthony Green and make a final determination of innocence.
Read an update on Green’s release from prison.