Ex parte Steven Chaney (original by judge hervey)Annotate this Case
Applicant Steven Chaney was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined $5,000. His conviction was affirmed on appeal. He claimed he was entitled to relief because: (1) new scientific evidence contradicted bitemark-comparison evidence relied on by the State at trial; (2) his conviction was secured using false evidence; (3) the State violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); and (4) he was actually innocent. The State and habeas court agreed Chaney was entitled to relief on all grounds. After reviewing the record, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals concurred: “Each piece of the State’s trial evidence is questionable ‘or has since been undermined or completely invalidated.’” When weighing Chaney’s newly discovered evidence against the State’s trial evidence, the Court concluded Chaney had shown by clear and convincing evidence that “no reasonable juror would have convicted [him] in light of the new evidence.” Chaney had proven that he was actually innocent. His judgment of conviction was set aside, and Chaney was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff of Dallas County to answer the charges as set out in the indictment.