D.C. Man's Murder Conviction Officially Overturned

Santae Tribble granted certificate of innoncence Friday

Sunday, Dec 16, 2012  |  Updated 11:28 AM EDT
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A judge has formerly declared the innocence of a Washington man who spent 28 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.

Fifty-one-year-old Santae Tribble's long fight for exoneration ended Friday when a judge granted his request for a certificate of innocence. The judge wrote that there is ``clear and convincing evidence'' that he didn't commit the crimes he was convicted of. The U.S. Attorney's office in the District of Columbia filed a motion agreeing to vacate Tribble's conviction in April of this year.

Tribble was convicted in 1978 after an FBI agent testified that his hair was matched to one in a stocking found near where a taxi driver was killed in Southeast Washington. The killer had worn a stocking mask.

DNA was used to prove that the hair was not Tribble's. The case led to national scrutiny of the FBI's forensic science system. The District of Columbia's Public Defender Services supports a review of all convictions based on hair comparisons from before 1996, when the FBI stopped declaring matches based on visual comparison alone.

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