Three Texas Exonerees Form Detective Agency to Help Others Prove Cases


Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey, and Billy Smith of Dallas have served 63 years in prison among them. They all are exonerated prisoners and they are working to get others out, NPR reports. Dallas is home to more than 40 exonerees. These Dallas exonerees have formed a club of sorts to help others as they’re released. They’ve formed their own detective agency, looking to crack the hardest innocence cases: The ones where there’s no DNA to test; ones that often rely solely on eyewitness identification.

Scott believes Jimmy O’Steen is one of those innocents, and he aims to prove it. Inside prison, the men sit across from O’Steen in a small barren room to discuss his case. O’Steen was convicted of armed robbery in 1997 and sentenced to 75 years in prison. “The suspect was supposed to be 140 pounds, 6 feet tall. I was 240-plus. The suspect had a clean-shaven face, I had a moustache,” O’Steen says. The men know how tough it will be to get O’Steen out without DNA evidence to test. It’s going to take a real shoe-leather investigation.

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