Derrick Robinson

In August 1988, a woman in Miami-Dade County, Florida was murdered by a man who reportedly, according to eyewitnesses, had dreadlocks.  Another eyewitness identified Robinson, who fit the description, as the killer.  That witness recanted his identification after being placed in the same cell as Robinson, and then later reaffirmed his original identification of Robinson as the killer.  Robinson, fearing the death penalty if he went to trial, maintained his innocence, but pled guilty to second-degree murder in 1989 and received a sentence of 7 years in prison. 
 
After Robinson’s conviction, new witnesses emerged and identified Kevin Morely as the actual killer.  In addition, the brother of the original eyewitness against Robinson revealed that his brother had lied because Morely had threatened the family.  After Morely was arrested for a different murder, the witnesses felt safe coming forward.  Based on this new evidence, Robinson was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and the charges against him were dropped on January 30, 1991.
 
- Stephanie Denzel

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State:Florida
County:Miami-Dade
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1988
Convicted:1989
Exonerated:1991
Sentence:7 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age:30
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No