Dwayne D. Scruggs

Dwayne Scruggs was convicted in 1986 of rape and robbery. The victim was walking from a bus station when she was attacked by a man with a knife. He raped her while trying to hide his face and stole money from her, eventually leaving on foot. The victim was to identify two separate photos, one of which was from a sex crimes file (a fact later appealed due to an officer's statement), and in court. She also identified his boots as similar to the perpetrator's.
 
Scruggs's public defender filed for the release of the biological evidence collected in the case for the purposes of DNA testing. In 1993, the court ruled that blood would be drawn from Scruggs and that the evidence must be released for testing. Vaginal swabs and slides were sent to Cellmark Diagnostics and testing was performed at the public defender's expense. Using PCR based DNA testing, Cellmark determined that the DQ Alpha profile from the spermatozoa on the vaginal swabs and a blood stain from the scene did not match Scruggs. The results were examined by the prosecution, who then joined with the public defender in moving the court to vacate the conviction. In December 1993, the case against Scruggs was vacated and he was released after over seven years of incarceration. His record was expunged in 1994. He passed away in May 1995.
 
Summary courtesy of the Innocence Project, http://www.innocenceproject.org/. Reproduced with permission.

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012

 

State:Indiana
County:Marion
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:Robbery
Reported Crime Date:1986
Convicted:1986
Exonerated:1993
Sentence:40 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age:32
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes