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Dallas Man Exonerated of 1990 Sexual Assault Conviction After 26 Years in Prison

Tyrone Day, another wrongly accused and imprisoned Black man, has been exonerated and is now a free man.

In 1990, a then-19-year-old Day was convicted of a 1989 sexual assault of a woman in South Dallas. He has always proclaimed his innocence throughout the years.

after accepting a plea deal he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Although Day had pleaded guilty, he maintained his innocence and said he only accepted the plea because he thought he would be released on parole after four years.

Tyrone Day would spend the next 26 years of his life incarcerated until he was released on parole, but life was no easier. Day was forced to register as a sex offender for life.

It wasn’t until a reinvestigation into Day’s case unearthed new evidence that proved his innocence.

“I want to thank the Dallas County Conviction Integrity Unit for bringing this to a conclusion. It has been a long, hard journey for my family and me, but I never lost faith that my innocence would be proven,”

said Day.

In a reinvestigation by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), DNA testing excluded Mr. Day from the scene of the reported assault and confirmed the identity of two alternate suspects.

The CIU’s investigation also revealed that the woman who reported the sexual assault hadn’t actually seen Mr. Day’s face when she identified him as one of her attackers. Instead, she had identified him from a far distance based only on a hat, which she said resembled one worn by one of her assailants.

Tyrone Day spent the last 33 years of his life fighting for his freedom and says now he is focused on family.

“Today, I am focused on my family and my passion for sustainable farming. I was born and raised in South Dallas, and the opportunity to bring fresh produce here, where it’s scarce, and train the next generation of farmers is so meaningful to me.”

A bombshell study in 2017 confirmed what Black people had long known to be true: that Black people are more likely to be wrongly convicted of murder than people from any other group.

To add insult to the injury of wrongful convictions, innocent Black people waited years longer than the average time it took a white prisoner accused of the same crime to be exonerated.

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Written by Darnell Simmons

Investigative Journalist, social analysis