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The Wrong Man

DNA Testing Sought in 1989 Rhode Island Murder Case 

Former Warwick, Rhode Island police detective Jeffrey Scott Hornoff has petitioned the Superior Court to release the evidence in his murder conviction and permission to test its DNA.

June 25, 2001

In June of 1996, Jeffrey Scott Hornoff was  convicted of First Degree Murder for the 1989 death of Victoria Cushman. Scott's conviction came seven years after Ms. Cushman's death. The case was based on circumstantial evidence, innuendoes and speculation. There were no fingerprints, no blood evidence, no DNA matches, no witnesses, and no evidence. 

In 1999, Scott's motion for a new trial was denied, leaving Scott to look forward to spending the rest of his life in prison. But the former Warwick police detective has not given up trying to clear himself.  Instead, he has asked the Superior Court to release the evidence in his case for DNA testing. 

Scott's request for the testing is believed to be the first in Rhode Island, and he has the backing of the New England Innocence Project.  The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) is a group of lawyers, academics and students who aim to identify, investigate and exonerate, through DNA testing, all persons who have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine.  The NEIP provides pro bono representation to individuals like Scott, whose conviction is based on doubtful evidence by applying advances made in DNA testing.

These advances in DNA testing enable scientists to reexamine criminal evidence. So far, more than 90 people convicted of murder have been freed from prison -- many from death row -- after DNA testing demonstrated they were innocent.  Scott hopes to add his own exoneration to these growing numbers.

Jeffrey Scott Hornoff Exonerated and Released

Innocent Imprisoned
Truth in Justice