Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Levon Brooks



Murder and Rape


Life Imprisonment

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Year Cleared:


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Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Levon Brooks was wrongly convicted in 1992 of the 1990 murder and rape of a three-year-old girl. Levon Brooks was convicted on the basis of bite mark testimony by Dr. Michael West, whose work as an expert was discredited nationally. The jury wasn't told that at the time of Brooks' trila West had been suspended from the American Board of Forensic Odontology and had resigned from the American Academy of Forensic Science and the International Association of Identification, pending expulsion. Brooks was sentenced to life in prison. After DNA evidence identified Justin Albert Johnson as the murderer of the young girl that Kennedy Brewer had been convicted of murdering, Johnson confessed to authorities that he murdered that young girl, and also the girl that Brooks had been convicted of murdering. Brooks was awarded a new trial by the Mississippi Supreme Court on the basis of the new evidence of Johnson's confession and new forensic evidence undermining his conviction that was largely based on faulty bite mark testimony. Brooks was released on his own recognizance in February 2008, while awaiting the prosecutors decision on whether to retry him. On March 13, 2008 the prosecution dropped the charges against him and the charges were dismissed. He had been wrongly imprisoned for 18 years, including the two years he was jailed awaiting trial. 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:

"Faulty expert testimony about bite marks on the victim by discredited bite mark "expert" Dr. Michael West."

Innocence Proved By:

In February 2008 he was released after the prosecution dropped the charges against him and the charges were dismissed.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

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

Was Perpetrator Identified?

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Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

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

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Information Source 2:

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

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Information Source 3:

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

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Information Source 4:

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

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Information Source 5:

"Quack dentist puts the wrong men on Death Row using flawed ‘bite-mark analysis’, By David J. Krajicek (Staff), New York Daily News, May 7, 2016"

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

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