Wrongly Convicted Database Record

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Bobby Ray Dixon


Years Imprisoned:

31

Charge:

Murder and Rape

Sentence:

Life Imprisonment

Year Convicted:

1980

Year Cleared:

2010

Location of Trial:

Mississippi

Result:

Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Phillip Bivens, Bobby Ray Dixon and Larry Donnell Ruffin were co-defendants. The three men were convicted in 1980 of the 1979 rape and murder of a woman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The key evidence against the men was the eyewitness testimony of a the victim's four-year-old son. Bivens and Dixon both pled guilty and testified against Ruffin. However, at the end of his testimony Dixon said he was coerced to pled guilty and he had never seen the victim. The three men were sentenced to life in prison. Ruffin died in prison in 2002 from accidentally being electrocuted. Post-conviction DNA testing conducted in June 2010 excluded the three men. Bivens and Dixon filed motions to vacate their convictions. Dixon was dying of lung cancer and the Mississippi Dept of Corrections agreed to release him on compassionate parole. On September 16, 2010 the convictions of Bivens and Dixon were overturned and Bivens was released on bail after 31 years of wrongful imprisonment. In December 2010 a Forrest County Grand Jury formally dismissed the charges against the two men. On February 18, 2011, Larry Ruffin was posthumously exonerated by Forrest County Circuit Judge Robert Helfrich filed an Order that read in part -- "Larry Ruffin is officially exonerated and declared innocent of the crime of capital murder for which he was convicted in 1980 in Forrest County. That conviction is null and void." The same grand jury that dismissed the charges against Bivens and Dixon indicted Andrew Harris for the murder that the DNA testing identified as the actual culprit."

Conviction Caused By:

Innocence Proved By:

DNA testing conducted in 2010 that was unavailable at the time of their 1980 trial excluded all three co-defendants as the perpetrator.

Defendant Aided By:

Pro bono attorney Rob McDuff and the Innocence Project New Orleans

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Found?

Age When Imprisoned:

22

Age When Released:

53

Information Source 1:

Ex-inmate cleared after his death, By Jerry Mitchell (staff writer), Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS), 2-21-2011

Information Location 1:

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110222/NEWS/102220335/1001/NEWS/Ex-inmate-cleared-after-his-death

Information Source 2:

Convictions overturned: Imprisoned men free at last, By Jerry Mitchell (staff), Clarion Ledger (Jackson, MS), September 17, 2010

Information Location 2:

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20100917/NEWS/9170350/Convictions-overturned-Imprisoned-men-free-at-last

Information Source 3:

Bobby Ray Dixon, Innocence Project New Orleans, September 1, 2010

Information Location 3:

http://www.ip-no.org/exonoree-profile/bobby-ray-dixon

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