Joe Brown was convicted years ago for the 1987 rape of a Valdosta woman. He says he didn't do it and he requested a new DNA test of the evidence, testing which was not around during his first trial.
The new testing shows Brown in fact committed the crime.
Ashley Paulk, Lowndes County Sheriff, says, "When you got good DNA evidence to stand on, I mean, if I were a criminal, I'd be looking for a plea bargain. It’s just undeniable. Also, this DNA evidence can be used to clear people."
Using DNA evidence has become a priority for investigators at the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office no matter how big or small the crime may be.
Investigator Wanda Edwards says, "We treat all crimes and all crime scenes the same. You try and get all the evidence you can regardless of what kind of crime it is. A burglary today may turn out to be a serial killer next week, so you've got to get what you can regardless of what crime it is."
In the Brown rape case, the evidence reinforced the jury's conviction and investigators say this is a great example of how DNA can help the justice process.
Edwards adds, "We've been working on this and had it tested at two labs since January and that's a lot of time and effort put in just to prove we had the right man since the beginning."
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