Exoneration of Larry W. Davis

by Kimmy Speers

January 11th, 1993

Larry W. Davis (as well as Alan G. Northrop) was said to have been an accomplice to kidnapping, burglary, and the rape of a housekeeper in Washington State.

Then, on May 12th, 1993, he was wrongfully convicted for First Degree Kidnapping, Burglary, and Accomplice to First Degree Rape.

He had become a suspect because he and Northrop fit the description the witness was able to give, which was just the suspects' hair colors. The witness/victim was then overly familiarized with the two men. She was shown their pictures, then they appeared in the line up. Her friend even told her about them before the line up, so this familiarity lead to their conviction.

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He was exonerated on July 14th, 2010 after 17 years.

This happened because he and Northrop had contacted the Innocence Project in prison in 2000. The state had denied DNA testing for about 6 years before they were finally granted to. The victim's clothes were destroyed before the testing was done, though. Tests were done on other things at the scene and the results did not match Davis and Northrop.

They were both in prison for 17 years before this exoneration. It took 6 years to get the DNA testing approved, 3 years to get on probation, then 1 more year to get exonerated.

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Wrongful Conviction

This was due to the victim/eyewitness making a false identification. She had been blindfolded, was influenced by her fear and shock from being taken off guard. She was also threatened with a knife and was tied up, so these factors lead to her false statement.

I understand that the police could only use her hair color identification as a clue for the men who committed the crime, but it bothers me that this was all they could do. It really makes you think about how far technology has come, and how much it will continue to improve.
However, I see no reason for the police showing the victim the two men in both the pictures and the lineup. This caused her to become familiar with their faces, so of course she would point them out.

They could have showed her some more people and not reused the same guys in both pools of suspects, since this was somewhat conditioning her, or brainwashing her, to choose those Davis and Northrop.