Johnny Pinchback Will Be Freed Thursday After Serving 27 Years For Crime He Didn't Commit

Pinchback photo - April 2011.jpg
Johnny Pinchback, who has served 27 years for a crime the Dallas County DA now says he did not commit
At around 10:30 on the night of March 22, 1984, two girls, both younger than 16, were on their way home from a store in their Dallas neighborhood when they were approached by a man wielding a gun. He told them to go with him into a nearby field. He said he would shoot them if they did not comply. He tied the two girls together, then raped them both before fleeing on foot. After the assault, the girls walked to a nearby house, where they called Dallas Police.

According to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins's office, they were then taken to a hospital, where both girls were given rape exams. A few days later, on April 4, both were shown police photo spreads. And both said the same thing: Johnny Pinchback was the man who raped them. He insisted he was innocent. And on October 5, 1984, a Dallas County jury found him guilty of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced Pinchback to 99 years in prison.

But Watkins's office just sent word: Tomorrow morning at 9, in Judge Don Adams's courtroom, prosecutors will ask that Pinchback be found innocent and released, based upon DNA evidence that clears him of the crime.

"Thanks to the thorough investigation by our Conviction Integrity Unit and the continuous advances in DNA technology, Johnny Pinchback will regain his freedom as we have concluded that he did not commit this crime," Watkins says in a prepared statement. "As always, we seek justice on legitimate post-conviction claims of innocence to ensure we get to the truth, and when the truth reveals that an individual was wrongfully convicted, we take action to correct that injustice."

Pinchback, who is now 55, will become the 26th wrongfully imprisoned Dallas County man given his freedom in the past decade -- and the 22nd cleared by DNA evidence since 2001.
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Kevin Grissom
Kevin Grissom

I inspected Johnnys house today (a brand new home) he has an unbelievable attitude for somebody who was locked up for 27 yrs for a crime he didn't commit. He has a book coming out at some point so put it on your library wish list.  

Sara from Palestine
Sara from Palestine

Yes, what about Darlie Routier?  I thought after the trial we would learn some big secret that was brought forth as evidence previously unknown...nothing.  All I know is what I read in the papers and see on tv, but I really can't see convicting a person because she squirts silly foam at her childrens grave.  Who could even begin to know that woman's level of grief and judge her actions?   Where is the DA on his white horse  righting wrong?  I wonder if he would share with us how many requests must be received before  he will re-evaluate or reopen a case?  Can you imagine how many requests that office received on this gentleman in 27 years while he sat there holding DNA evidence?  Twenty seven years of a man's life...gone!

Highness
Highness

mmm.... wtf do u get in return for 27 yrs??? "opps my bad"??

Innocence Investigations
Innocence Investigations

You had better put "actual innocence" in his papers, DA Watkins, otherwise, like Anthony and Clarence the follow up stories aren't going to sound too good. It's time both Anthony and Clarence were given compensation don't you think?

Nezbud247
Nezbud247

I sure wish Watkins and his group would reinvesrigate Darlie Routier's case. She is INNOCENT. We have written him many letters asking them with no responses.

Diana Powe
Diana Powe

If the actual criminal in this case had murdered one of the two victims, then it's entirely possible that Mr. Pinchback would have been executed for a crime that he did not commit under the provision in the Texas Penal Code that makes it a capital crime to murder someone during the commission of an aggravated sexual assault. This case and the many others like it are why I am utterly opposed to the death penalty even after having served more than 30 years as a police officer. A human undertaking, like our criminal justice system, cannot be guaranteed to be completely error-free and killing an innocent defendant is too much of a risk for the alleged benefit of capital punishment.

scottindallas
scottindallas

and, you can afford to incarcerate for life without parole 5 men for every one we put to death.

Sara from Palestine
Sara from Palestine

Oh, we can't afford it so let's just kill them?  Certainly makes sense to me that is a real money saver idea for the State of Texas...we blow money on every other rediculous thing in the world, of course, incarcerate them for life without parole!!!

scottindallas
scottindallas

 You're missing my point.  There's nothing sensible about the Death Penalty.  It inherently costs more to put a man to death than it costs to incarcerate him for life and bury him.  It is a 5-7 to ONE difference across the various states.  That means for every man we put to death, we basically throw five to seven men on the streets early.  It is quite expensive to put a man to death, there's no benefit save the vicarious vindication some may feel.  That is awful policy and is something we should all be able to agree to end.  Sadly, Most assume it's cheaper to just kill em.  But, it's not.  Too often sentimental arguments are made. Why ask an a$$hole to be sentimental, get cynical.

Where do stereotypes come from
Where do stereotypes come from

Why do blacks rape so much? According to the FBI and USDOJ victim surveys, over 37,000 white women are raped and/or sexually assaulted by black men every year in the USA. The annual average of white man on black woman rape/sex assault is less than 10 (ten). One in every 3 black men in South Africa admit to committing rape, usually multiple times, usually gang rapes. Where do "stereotypes" come from?!?!??

Hhackett99
Hhackett99

Thank you Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins for all you do!!!!

Ashaalon
Ashaalon

You're an idiot. It's DA's like him who put the man away in the first place. If they would put effort into doing their jobs properly the first time this man could have lived his life. Careless and blatant disregard allow racism to persist.

Bigtrey33
Bigtrey33

How do you say that it's DAs like Craig Watkins that put the man away in the first place? Since Watkins has been in office he has attempted to set the record straight. Don't include him with the other racists who were perpetrating this injustice.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

No -- it was/is DAs like Henry Wade and his acolytes who put the man and others like him away.

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