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Texas executes man based on flawed evidence; his name was Claude Jones

A DNA test on a single strand of hair has cast doubt on the guilt of Claude Jones who was executed 10 years ago.

A DNA test on a single strand of hair has cast doubt on the guilt of Claude Jones who was executed 10 years ago.

From the Texas Observer‘s “DNA Tests Undermine Evidence in Texas Execution“:

Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene—a strand of hair—that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones.

But DNA tests completed this week at the request of the Observer and the New York-based Innocence Project show the hair didn’t belong to Jones after all. The day before his death in December 2000, Jones asked for a stay of execution so the strand of hair could be submitted for DNA testing. He was denied by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

Claude Jones’s execution is the second time in the last 13 months that it’s that come out that the people of Texas executed a man for a crime he likely did not commit. The other innocent man’s name was Cameron Todd Willingham.

Photo: Texas Deptartment of Criminal Justice

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