Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Kennedy Brewer



Murder and Sexual Assault


Death and later resentenced or commuted to Life

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:


Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Kennedy Brewer was wrongly convicted in 1995 of the 1992 murder and sexual battery (rape) of his girlfriend's three-year old daughter. The prosecution's strongest evidence was testimony by two dental experts that a bite mark on the girl matched Kennedy Brewer's teeth. One of the dental experts was Dr. Michael West. After his conviction by a jury Brewer was sentenced to death. In 2002 he was removed from death row when he was excluded by DNA tests of semen found on the girl. The girl's rape was the aggravating factor upon which his death sentence was based. The DNA was matched to another man, Justin Albert Johnson, who confessed that he solely committed the crime when confronted with the DNA evidence. On February 15, 2008 Brewer was released when the prosecutor dropped the charges. He had been wrongly imprisoned for 13 years, including 7 years on death row. Johnson also confessed to the 1990 murder of 3-year-old Courtney Smith, who Levon Brooks had been convicted of murdering and sentenced to life in prison. Johnson told investigators that he killed both girls while acting alone. Based on Johnson's confession Brooks' conviction was overturned and he was released on his own recognizance in February 2008, while awaiting the prosecutors decision on whether to retry him. Brook's charges were dropped on March 13, 2008. In October 2008 Brewer filed an $18 million lawsuit against the two experts who erroneously linked his bite mark to wounds on the victim. In November 2009 the State of Mississippi agreed to compensate Brewer based on the State's wrongful conviction compensation statute, with $500,000 paid in 10 annual installments of $50,000."

Conviction Caused By:

"Erroneous bite mark evidence by two prosecution expert witnesses, one of whom was Dr. Michael West, who also provided key expert testimony in the case of Levon Brooks."

Innocence Proved By:

In February 2008 he was released when the prosecutor dropped the charges after the actual perpetrator confessed.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

"$500,000 (State of Mississippi, Nov 2009) paid in 10 annual installments of $50,000"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"DNA voids murder conviction, By Steve Mills (staff), Chicago Tribune, February 16, 2008"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"Wrongly convicted miss. inmate freed, By Jerry Mitchell, Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS), March 13, 2008"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"Man seeks $18M in damages for wrongful conviction, Fort Mill Times (Fort Mill, MS), October 13, 2008"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"Willis to be Compensated for 'Egregious' Prosecution, By Adam Lynch (staff), Jackson Free Press, December 8, 2009"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"Men wrongly convicted or arrested on bite evidence, By Amanda Myers (AP writer), Quincy Herald-Whig (Quincy, Illinois), June 16, 2013"

Information Location 5:


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

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