Ronnie Bullock

On March 18, 1983, a 9-year-old girl on her way to school was kidnapped and raped on the south side of Chicago. Several weeks later, based on his similarity to a composite sketch provided by the 9-year-old victim and a 12-year-old who had survived a similar attack, Ronnie Bullock, who lived in the neighborhood, was arrested.
 
Both girls, who were African American, identified Bullock, also an African American, in a lineup. Based solely on their identification, Bullock was convicted by a jury in 1984 and sentenced to 60 years in prison.
 
Following his conviction, Bullock insisted that the evidence, which included the victim’s semen-stained underpants, be impounded. In March 1987, the appellate court upheld Bullock’s conviction, and in October 1990, a motion for post-conviction relief was denied.
 
In June 1993, Bullock's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, filed a motion to have the evidence released for DNA testing. The prosecution agreed, but the proceedings were delayed until the evidence could be located. In October 1994, Cellmark Diagnostics in Maryland determined that Bullock was not the source of the semen and Bullock was released, but ordered to remain in his parents’ house until the prosecution conducted its own tests. The prosecution subsequently dropped the charges, and Bullock was officially exonerated on November 23, 1994, ten years after his conviction.
 
Center on Wrongful Convictions

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 5/6/2014

 

State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:Kidnapping
Reported Crime Date:1983
Convicted:1984
Exonerated:1994
Sentence:60 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age:27
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes