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Jarrel Cleveland

Other Harris County, Texas exonerations
On March 12, 2012, police in Houston, Texas, arrested 24-year-old Jarrel Cleveland after they confiscated a substance from him that tested positive for cocaine in a field test.

On March 19, 2012, Cleveland pled guilty in Harris County Criminal District Court to possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to two years of court supervision.

In 2013, Cleveland’s supervision was revoked, and he was sentenced to seven months in Texas State Jail.

In 2021, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office discovered that on January 24, 2013, the Houston Police Department crime laboratory had tested the seized material. The tests revealed there was no controlled substance present.

Subsequently, Cleveland sought to vacate and dismiss his conviction, filing a state law petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The trial court, with the support of the prosecution, recommended the writ be granted.

On January 26, 2022, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the writ and vacated Cleveland’s conviction. The case was dismissed on March 15, 2022.

In August 2023, Cleveland filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking compensation for his wrongful conviction.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/28/2022
Last Updated: 6/3/2024
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2012
Sentence:7 months
Age at the date of reported crime:24
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No