Feds Seek To Overturn 1978 Murder Conviction

New analysis reveals hairs found at scene no match with convicted man

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012  |  Updated 5:01 PM EDT
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Feds Seek To Overturn 1978 Murder Conviction

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Federal prosecutors are moving to have a decades-old murder conviction overturned, citing flawed DNA evidence.

The U.S. Attorney's office in the District of Columbia filed a motion Friday agreeing to vacate the conviction of Santae A. Tribble, who spent 28 years in prison.

Tribble had been convicted of killing a taxi driver during a 1978 robbery. But prosecutors say hair found near the scene was incorrectly linked to Tribble by the FBI laboratory, casting doubt on his guilt.

Tribble has asked the court for full exoneration. Sandra Levick, Tribble's lawyer, has told The Washington Post that the government's motion stops short of declaring Tribble's innocence, which he has always maintained.

The District's Public Defender Service has pushed for a review of all convictions based on hair comparisons before 1996, when the FBI stopped declaring matches based on visual comparison alone.
 

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