A man who was wrongfully imprisoned for over 28 years will be freed after another man admitted to the crime he was accused of. Clarence Moses-EL was convicted of rape in 1988, because a woman claimed in court that she dreamed he assaulted her. He was sentenced to serve 48 years in prison, and was not able to prove his innocence until more than halfway through his term.
Another odd thing about the situation is that Clarence was not the first person that she identified. In fact, after the incident happened, she told police that another man was the perpetrator, and she was actually correct, because the man that she first accused is the one who now confessed. However, she began to have doubts about the version of events that she told police because she said that Clarence’s face came to her in a dream, and she trusted that more than her initial intuition
All along, Clarence has maintained his innocence, and has tried multiple appeals, and they have all failed through no fault of his own. Each appeal was rejected because police threw away DNA evidence that could have exonerated him, despite a court order to keep all evidence safe under lock and key.
The case was so strange and historic that it inspired legislation that aims to preserve DNA evidence in major felony cases for a defendant’s entire lifetime.
Luckily, in December of 2013, the real perpetrator, L.C. Jackson, sent him a letter in prison saying he couldn’t believe Moses-EL was accused of raping the woman because he ‘had sex’ with her at the same time that night.
“I really don’t know what to say to you, but let’s start by bringing what was done in the dark into the light. I have a lot on my heart,” Jackson said.
Later Jackson testified in court that he had consensual sex with the woman, but for some reason became angry with her during the incident and hit her in the head. However, the victim claims that she was sleeping and did not consent to the encounter.
Jackson has still yet to be charged, but he is already in jail due to charges from other similar incidents. Back in 1992, Jackson was convicted of raping a mother and daughter about a mile and a half away from the other victim’s home. In that case, DNA evidence led to his conviction.
Even though Jackson has not yet been charged in the crime, his testimony has persuaded Denver District Judge Kandace Gerdes to grant Clarence a new trial. Since it was Jackson’s blood type that was found at the crime as well, there is more than enough evidence to clear Clarence.
It is strange that testimony based on a dream resulted in a prison sentence of nearly 50 years, especially when there was another suspect that was identified first, who had a history of crime, and a blood type matching samples found at the scene. It appears that the police investigating this case really dropped the ball.