TAMU Law Clinic Sees Former Client Exonerated

Posted by Texas A&M School of Law on Jun 9, 2021 2:32:45 PM

Nearly eighteen months after his initial release, Lydell Grant was declared “actually innocent” by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA).

In 2018 students at Texas A&M University School of Law began working with the The Innocence Project of Texas, led by Adjunct Professor Mike Ware, on Lydell Grant’s case. At that time, Grant had spent nearly a decade in prison for murder. Work done by students through the clinic would eventually help prove his innocence.

According to an article Ware published last month just before Grant’s exoneration, it was an A&M Law student that first observed the anomalies in the DNA evidence that eventually led to proof of Grant's innocence. 

“Fairly quickly, law student Jason Tiplitz noticed something was off with the DNA evidence. Mr. Grant appeared to be clearly excluded from the DNA mixture recovered from the victim’s fingernails,” wrote Ware.

The case attracted national attention when Grant was released based on new DNA evidence and other problems with witness identifications in the case. However, it took another year and half for the state of Texas to declare him innocent.

200622-lydell-grant-se-1114a-3391744Lydell Grant, center, his mother, Donna Poe, and his brother Alonzo Poe talk to reporters after his release on bond in Houston on Nov. 26, 2019. Photo: Jon Shapley / Houston Chronicle via AP

Texas Monthly followed the case closely. According to those reports, now that the CCA agrees that Mr. Grant “established by clear and convincing evidence that he is actually innocent,” his conviction can be removed from his record and he is eligible to receive financial compensation.

Learn more about the impact Texas A&M Law students are making through the Texas Innocence Project and our other clinics.

 

Topics: Clinics, Innocence Project, students, faculty

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About Texas A&M School of Law

Texas A&M School of Law is an American Bar Association-accredited institution located in downtown Fort Worth. In 2013, Texas A&M acquired Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. Since integrating with Texas A&M seven years ago, the law school has sustained a remarkable upward trajectory by dramatically increasing entering class credentials, improving U.S. News and World Report rankings, hiring 30 new faculty members, adding 10 clinics and six global field study destinations and expanding the depth and breadth of its career services, student services, academic support and admissions functions.

For more information, visit law.tamu.edu.

About Texas A&M University

Texas A&M, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation’s largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 440,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. A tier-one university, Texas A&M holds the rare triple land-, sea- and space-grant designation. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.

About Research at Texas A&M University

As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2016), based on expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.