DNA quashes 1982 rape conviction

April 24, 2007 - 7:12AM

Jerry Miller, centre, flanked by his legal team.
Photo: AP

A man convicted of rape in 1982 has become the 200th person in the US to be exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence, the man's lawyers said.

"I want to get on with my life ... have a life," said Jerry Miller, 48, after an appearance in Cook County Circuit Court where a judge tossed out his conviction at the request of prosecutors.

The New York-based Innocence Project, which has pursued such cases, said Miller's case marked the 200th DNA exoneration since 1989.

Miller, it said, served 24 years in jail.

The 200 people exonerated by DNA evidence served a total of 2,475 years in prison for crimes they didn't commit, it said.

"They are just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody truly knows how many innocent people are in prison.

"Only a small fraction of cases involve evidence that could be tested for DNA, and even among those cases, evidence is often lost or destroyed before it can be tested," the group said.