DALLAS, TX—International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, working in partnership with the Innocence Project and the Dallas District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Division, successfully secured exoneration and an actual innocence finding for an innocent man who served 26 years in prison before being released on parole and required to register as a sex offender.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office officially dismissed all charges in the case after a hearing Wednesday in a Dallas County Criminal Court. Tyrone Day was originally convicted of sexual assault in 1990 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Although he maintained his innocence, he pleaded guilty fearing that if the case was taken to trial, he would get life in prison.
In 2000, Mr. Day sought DNA testing of the evidence and materials collected, but his initial request and a subsequent request were denied. In 2008, with the assistance of The Innocence Project, Mr. Day successfully petitioned for DNA testing, and the results of the DNA testing excluded Mr. Day as a contributor.
The Weil team, working pro bono with the assistance of local counsel, filed a habeas petition under Texas law in January 2023 seeking to vacate Mr. Day’s guilty plea due to new scientific evidence and on due process grounds. The Dallas County Criminal Court signed the Findings of Fact in March 2023, finding Mr. Day’s due process rights were violated and that his guilty plea should be vacated. The Findings of Fact then went before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which affirmed the findings on April 26 and returned the matter to the lower court for final exoneration proceedings, which took place today.