Meet the Exonerees

Terry Chalmers

State: New York
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 08/18/1986
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 06/09/1987
Age When Exonerated: 27
Exonerated Date: 01/31/1995
Time Served: 8
Conviction: rape, sodomy, robbery, grand larceny
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

In 1986, eighteen-year-old Terry Leon Chalmers was arrested in Mount Vernon, NY for rape, sodomy, robbery, and grand larceny based on misidentification in police lineups. At first, the victim was unable to identify him in a photo, but eventually identified him forty-six days later in an additional lineup, in which Chalmers’s picture was the only previously shown picture. On June 9, 1987, Chalmers was convicted, and sentenced to twelve to twenty-four years in prison. In 1990, the New York Supreme Court affirmed his conviction on appeal, claiming that the lineup was properly conducted and it was enough to convict Chalmers. He served eight years of his sentence before an Innocence Project helped get him exonerated due to DNA evidence. DNA analysis proved Chalmers was not the culprit, and on January 31, 1995 a NY judge released him from prison and dismissed all charges.