Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Innocence Project of Florida Moves to Preserve Evidence in Tompkins’ Case

Innocence Project of Florida, Inc.
1100 East Park Avenue,
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Telephone 850.561.6767
Fax 850.561.5077

For Immediate Release


February 11, 2009

Seth Miller, Esq.: 202.341.2127
Bobbi Madonna, Esq.: 850.561.6767

Innocence Project of Florida Moves to Preserve Evidence in Tompkins’ Case

Says DNA Testing Could Reveal that Man Scheduled for Execution is Innocent of Murder

Today the Innocence Project of Florida (IPF) is filing a motion to preserve evidence in the case of
Wayne Tompkins, who is scheduled to be executed at 6 PM EST by lethal injection.

Tompkins was
convicted of murdering Lisa DeCarr in 1983, though doubts persist as to the true identity of the victim.
IPF believes a new round of DNA testing should be conducted in order to banish all doubt, and today’s
action represents the first step toward acquiring that testing.

“If the victim in this case wasn’t Lisa DeCarr after all, that means Wayne Tompkins was convicted of
a murder that never took place. It’s pretty bizarre that the Governor is about to execute a person when
these kinds of questions remain,” said Seth Miller, Executive Director of the Innocence Project of
Florida. Several individuals have signed affidavits claiming to have seen DeCarr alive since the alleged

“The Governor should remember two other cases, Frank Lee Smith and Ricky McGuinn,” said Miller.
Frank Lee Smith died on death row in Florida before DNA testing proved he was innocent. In Ricky
McGuinn’s case, his Texas execution was stayed, then DNA testing proved his guilt, and his execution
was reset. In both cases, DNA testing proved vital to the establishment of culpability.

IPF is moving a court to notify the appropriate institutions that they have a statutory obligation to preserve
all evidence pertaining to Tompkins’ case for 60 days, even if he should be executed. IPF wants
a robe, a sash, and samples of the victim’s bones to be preserved, with confidence that a new round of
DNA testing, using methods that have not been used in this case, will likely yield the identity of the

Miller added, “There are serious doubts left in this case, and we fully intend to get to the bottom of what
really happened. Tompkins shouldn’t be executed when such important questions as the identity of the
victim remain. Some day soon, we will make sure the truth comes out.”

The Innocence Project of Florida is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding and freeing innocent
people in Florida prisons. IPF consulted on the DNA issues in the case of Wayne Tompkins.
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