Meet the Exonerees

Marvin Anderson

State: Virginia
Date of Birth: 1964
Incident Date: 07/17/1982
Age at Arrest: 17
Conviction Date: 12/14/1982
Age When Exonerated: 37
Exonerated Date: 08/21/2002
Time Served: 15
Conviction: Robbery, rape, sodomy, abduction
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

Marvin Anderson was seventeen years old when he was arrested in connection with the particularly brutal rape of a young white woman. The victim misidentified Anderson twice, once in a series of mugshots and once in a lineup. In trial, Anderson's defense counsel failed to call appropriate witnesses. Though Anderson had a solid alibi, he was convicted by an all-white jury when he was eighteen and sentenced to 210 years in prison. Anderson's wrongful conviction was based primarily on the victim's mistaken identification in a line-up and ineffective assistance of counsel. While in prison, Anderson maintained his innocence and made several failed attempts to clear his name. After serving fifteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Anderson was released on lifetime parole. He continued his efforts to prove his innocence and was exonderated in 2001 when DNA tests finally proved that he had not been the rapist. When Marvin learned that his name was finally cleared, he had only two further requests. "A verbal apology would be nice," Marvin said, "and then I'd like my name scratched from the state computer files still listing me for the heinous crime of rape." In 2002, Marvin's wishes came true. Nearly 20 years after he was taken out of high school and wrongfully convicted, he was pardoned by the governor, and the conviction was officially expunged from his record. Marvin, who dreamed of being a fireman before his life was interrupted by a wrongful conviction, received $1.2 million in compensation from the state.