DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dwayne A. Dail, age 39, will appear in Wayne County Superior Court on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 9:30am to have all charges dismissed after DNA testing has excluded him as the perpetrator of the 1988 rape for which he has served more than 18 years in prison.
On September 4, 1987 at 2:30a.m., an intruder entered through a window of the apartment of Barbara Best and raped her twelve year old daughter. Based on the victim’s identification and State’s evidence that a hair found at the scene was microscopically consistent with Dail’s, Dwayne Allen Dail was found guilty of first-degree burglary, first-degree sexual offense, first-degree rape, taking indecent liberties with a minor and lewd and lascivious behavior. Stunned and continuously proclaiming his innocence, Dwayne Dail was sentenced to two life sentences plus 18 years. On Monday, August 27, 2007, DNA testing of semen recovered from the victim’s nightgown proved what Dwayne Allen Dail has been saying for over 18 years – he was and is innocent.
Dwayne Dail never stopped crying out for help. Over the years, communications from the Wayne County clerk of court, law enforcement, and the city attorney have indicated all evidence in the case, including a rape kit, bed sheets, a nightgown, and hair evidence, had been destroyed. Whether by chance or design, and unknown to most, an investigating officer in the case actually kept evidence relating to the case in his office. That evidence was not cataloged in any evidence tracking system and was only discovered when the officer retired earlier this year.
Issues which lead to wrongful conviction and continued wrongful incarceration in this case include wrongful identification, which is a causation issue in over 75% of wrongful convictions, and insufficient controls over critical evidence, a critical problem across North Carolina and the country.
Dwayne Allen Dail is represented by attorney Christine Mumma of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, www.law.duke.edu/innocencecenter.
DATE: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 TIME: 9:30am PLACE: Wayne County Courthouse 224 East Walnut Street Goldsboro, NC 27530-4850
The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence is a non-profit agency which investigates claims of innocence made by North Carolina inmates. The Center coordinates the work of North Carolina’s Innocence Projects® at UNC, Duke, NCCU, Elon, Charlotte, Campbell, and Wake Forest law schools.