Exonerated: 33 Years Too Long For Dallas Man To Serve Wrongful Conviction

Exonerated: 33 Years Too Long For Dallas Man To Serve Wrongful Conviction

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

According to the Innocence Project, Day spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for a crime he did not commit and was released after being exonerated. 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.

“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.

“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.”

Day believed that if he were convicted at trial, he would face a life sentence and, based on the advice of his attorney, decided to accept a plea deal. He expressed his innocence to his attorney but was told that he would likely be released on parole after four years in prison if he pleaded guilty. Placing faith in his attorney and knowing the other option was life in prison, he accepted the plea.

He was then sentenced to 40 years in prison. He served nearly 26 years in prison before being released on parole and required to register for life as a sex offender.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) began another investigation into the crime. A DNA test cleared Day from being at the scene of the reported assault and identified two other suspects instead. The investigation also found the woman who was attacked never saw Day’s face when she identified him as one of her attackers. The victim identified him as the assailant due to a similar hat he had been wearing.

“This case is another example of how wrongful convictions can be corrected when a prosecutor’s office works with Innocence Project attorneys to find the truth,” said Gary Udashen of the Innocence Project of Texas, one of the attorneys who represented Day.

“The work of Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, as well as Conviction Integrity Unit Chief Cynthia Garza and her staff, was essential to justice being achieved for Tyrone Day.”

After the former prisoner was released, he returned to his hometown of South Dallas and has been the system manager and lead horticulturist at Restorative Farms, which he helped found.