Man freed after 25 years in prison based on DNA test

Miami – This week, [Luis] Diaz, who in 1980 was convicted of seven rapes and sentenced to life in prison, walked free.

Defense lawyer Barry Scheck, whose New York-based Innocence Project helped free Diaz, called the former cook’s release from prison a watershed because his convictions had relied heavily on eyewitness identifications. “This case had eight mistaken eyewitnesses. The previous high was five,” Scheck said.

The organization co-founded by Scheck, a member of O.J. Simpson’s defense team, says it has helped free more than 160 wrongfully convicted people through the use of DNA testing.

Innocence Project

A non-profit legal clinic which only handles cases where postconviction DNA testing of evidence can yield conclusive proof of innocence.

Innocence Project – Luis Diaz page

In June 2005, test results from both laboratories indicated that a male profile had been found and that it did not match Luis Diaz. A second round of testing corroborated these findings.

On August 3, 2005, the charges against Luis Diaz were dropped and he walked free, surrounded by his family and supporters. Diaz, now 67 years old, had proclaimed his innocence since he was questioned in 1979.

How many more are in prison for crimes they did not commit?