IU law professor plays major role in wrongful conviction case

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind--An Indiana man wrongfully convicted of rape in 1991, walked free this week from the Lake County Jail.

New DNA technology played a major role in the decision, but it was a team of faculty and students from IU McKinney's Wrongful Conviction Clinic that made the difference.

Darryl Pinkins took his first steps as a free man Monday morning after almost 25 years for a crime he didn't commit.

"It feels like this day was meant to be. And I know it was and God knew it was," said Pinkins.

Moments after his release, Pinkins embraced professor Frances Watson, who teaches the Wrongful Conviction Clinic.  The case was refereed to Watson in 1999 from the Innocence Project.

"It’s overwhelming and words can’t express it. I’m glad students got to be there and be part of it," said Watson.

Boxes from the Pinkins case fill Watson's law school office.  It's a case she never stopped fighting.

"I’ve lost it six times before I got to this victory. So there's a lesson in there for everybody," said Watson.

In 1991 a jury found Pinkins guilty of rape, robbery and other criminal charges.  However, new a new DNA technique exonerated Pinkins.

"I say this showed he absolutely unequivocally didn't do it," said Watson.

Despite losing almost a quarter century of his life, Pinkins holds no anger toward lady justice and he is thankful for professor Watson and her students.

"Unfortunately that’s something we will never get back. What we got to look forward to is what we do from this point on and how much love we put into each day," said Pinkins.

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