Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Randall Dale Adams






Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


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City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Randall Dale Adams was wrongly convicted in May 1977 of the November 1976 murder of a Dallas policeman based on identification by three witnesses that Randal Dale Adams was in the car seen at the scene of the officers murder, and the testimony of the actual murderer that Adams shot the officer. Adams was sentenced to death, and at one point came within 3 days of execution before obtaining a stay. His case gained national exposure from the documentary 'The Thin Blue Line,' that showed that his conviction was the result of him running out of gas at the wrong place and the wrong time. Adams was released on March 21, 1989, and two days later the DA announced that the charges would be dismissed. Adams was wrongly held in custody for about 12 years and 3 months."

Conviction Caused By:

"Erroneous identification by three witnesses that Adams was in the car seen at the scene of the officres murder. Eyewitness error, false informant, prosecutor misconduct & concealment of evidence, police perjury and rigging of a line-up"

Innocence Proved By:

Informants discredicted & exposure of exculpatory aspects of Adams' case in the documentary 'A Thin Blue Line.'

Defendant Aided By:

Documentary - 'The Thin Blue Line'

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"“In Spite of Innocence: Erroneous Convictions in Capital Cases,” Michael L Radelet, Hugo Adam Bedau, and Constance E. Putnam, Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1992 p. 60-73."

Information Location 1:

Information Source 2:

Death Penalty Information Center

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Book About Case:

""Adams vs. Texas," Randall Dale Adams, William Hoffer, Marilyn Mona Hoffer, St. Martin's Press; Hd Cover: ISBN: 031205811X; (May 1991). St Martins Mass Market Paper; ISBN: 0312927789; Reprint edition (June 1992)."

Book Information:

Book About Case (2):

Book Information (2):

Movie About Case:

"The Thin Blue Line, MGM, DVD released 2005"

Comments About Case:

Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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