BOSTON (CBS) – Tyrone Clark, convicted of a 1973 rape, had his case vacated on Wednesday after the victim said she wasn’t sure about the accuracy of her identification 50 years ago.
Additionally, a knife handle that was used in evidence was compromised from being touched, biological material on the victim’s clothing was lost and forensic evidence that had the possibility to clear Clark was lost.
“This case came to my office’s attention after the victim, unsolicited, raised serious doubts about her identification of the defendant. When we began looking further into the case, we learned that nearly half a century ago, the Commonwealth lost or destroyed evidence that had the potential to be exculpatory. Both the defendant and this administration have been denied the opportunity to perform modern forensic testing due the failure of previous administrations to maintain that DNA evidence. The Commonwealth should never benefit from our failures and wrongdoings,” District Attorney Rachael Rollins said.
Tyrone Clark was also convicted of unarmed robbery and kidnapping in connection with the 1973 incident. Those convictions were based on evidence and testimony not connected with the lost evidence and will not be affected by the judge’s decision.