Comments and accusations given prominent coverage are often accepted at face value, both before and after an individual has been convicted of committing a crime. This was especially true in the case of Anthony Hicks, who was convicted of committing a brutal rape in spite of his unflagging denial of involvement. Hicks' conviction rested primarily on the testimony of a state crime lab analyst, who stated that four of the hairs found at the scene were ``consistent with'' hair from Hicks, and that a hair found in Hicks' trousers ``could'' have come from the rape victim. (Click here for expert commentary on hair comparison tests.)
In retrospect, it appears that the prosecutor was particularly determined to secure a lengthy prison sentence for Hicks by raising claims that he had taken out a "hit contract" on the rape victim.
SENTENCING DELAYED FOR RAPIST ACCUSED OF DEATH THREATS
Although the presiding judge did not find the state's "hit contract" claims credible, he was convinced that jurors made the right decision when they convicted Hicks.
MAN GETS 19 YEARS FOR RAPE
Almost five years later, Anthony Hicks was freed after DNA tests excluded him as the rapist in the case. When his conviction was reversed, the same charges were reissued, and when those charge were finally dismissed, the prosecutor still refused to admit her error.
DNA TEST FREES MAN IN RAPE
A jury has found Anthony's trial lawyer should pay his client more
$2.6 million, because the lawyer did not seek crucial DNA tests that
have exonerated Anthony. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Court
of Appeals reversed the verdict, ruling that Anthony had to prove his innocence in the civil
case in order to prevail.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SORRY
Why the DA's office ought to apologize to Anthony Hicks