Santae A. Tribble, of the District of Columbia, needlessly spent 28 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. An FBI scientist testified at Tribble’s trial that the hair from the stocking mask worn by the killer, but left at the crime scene, matched Tribble’s “in all microscopic characteristics.” In closing arguments, the federal prosecutor went further and argued to the jury that there “is one chance, perhaps for all we know, in 10 million that it could [be] someone else’s hair.”
In January 2015, court-ordered DNA testing by a private lab confirmed that none of the 13 hairs retrieved from the stocking shared Tribble’s genetic profile or that of his alleged accomplice, Cleveland Wright. The lab also found that the 13 hairs came from three human sources, except for one — which came from a dog. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! A DC Superior Court judge declared Tribble innocent today; however, that’s a small consolation for all the important life events that Tribble missed out on over the past two decades. More than 301 people in the United States have been exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing since 1989.