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Jeffrey Streeter


Attorney Warren Dawson was at the Polk County, Florida, courthouse on July 15, 1980 to defend his client, Lee Marvin Anderson, on charges of assault, battery, and resisting arrest. Dawson knew the primary evidence against Anderson was the testimony of three eyewitnesses to the assault, so he decided to take a unique approach to convince the judge of the unreliability of the eyewitness identifications. Dawson found a young man in the lobby of the courthouse and asked if the man would stand in for Anderson at the trial. This man, 19-year-old Jeffrey Streeter, who was at the courthouse waiting for his brother, agreed to help Dawson out and stand in for Anderson at trial.
 
As Dawson had hoped, three eyewitnesses made an in-court identification of Jeffrey Streeter as the culprit during the trial, with Polk County Judge Edward Threadgill presiding. Following this identification by the witnesses, Dawson confessed to Judge Threadgill that Streeter was just a stand-in, whom he had asked to come to the trial in place of his client to demonstrate the unreliability of eyewitness identifications.
 
To the surprise of Dawson and Streeter, Judge Threadgill responded that he had no alternative other than to find Streeter guilty of battery based on the eyewitnesses identifying him as the perpetrator and other evidence presented against him. Streeter spent the night in jail, but was released the next day on his own recognizance.
 
Two weeks later, Judge Threadgill reversed Streeter’s conviction, and Lee Marvin Anderson’s trial was rescheduled.
 
– Meghan Barrett Cousino
State:FL
County:Polk
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Reported Crime Date:1980
Convicted:1980
Exonerated:1980
Sentence:Not sentenced
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:19
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID