All NRE reports represent a moment in time. For the most accurate data, please search on the Detailed View page. The website is updated daily, frequently with exonerations that occurred in the past.
On June 12, 2009, police in Houston, Texas arrested 38-year-old Earl Amory after they seized a substance from him that field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine.
On June 15, 2009, Amory pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to four months in the Harris County Jail.
On May 9, 2011, the Houston Police crime laboratory tested the substance seized from Amory and detected no controlled substances. The laboratory test report was forwarded to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office where it was not discovered until 2014.
In 2016, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office conviction integrity unit informed Amory’s defense attorney of the test results and joined in a state law petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
On November 4, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal appeals granted the writ and vacated the conviction. On December 20, 2016, the prosecution dismissed the charge.
– Maurice Possley
The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. The Registry also maintains a more limited database of known exonerations prior to 1989.
We welcome new information from any source about exonerations already on our list and about cases not in the Registry that might be exonerations.