Innocent, After Proven Guilty

More inmates are being set free thanks to DNA tests--and a pioneering law clinic

Oklahoma junior high school science teacher Dennis Fritz never thought he would be convicted of raping and murdering his neighbor, 21-year-old Debra Sue Carter. He had no criminal record, except for driving offenses, and the case against him was paper thin--flimsy circumstantial evidence and the dubious testimony of a jailhouse snitch who claimed Fritz confessed while awaiting trial. Was that really all it took to send a man away for life? "When the jury came back with a guilty verdict, I almost went into shock," says Fritz.

His conviction separated Fritz from his 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth, whom he was raising as...

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