May 31, 2016
Though convicted and sentenced to death for the savage rape and murder of a nine-year-old Maryland girl, former U.S. Marine Kirk Bloodsworth maintained his innocence. While in jail, Bloodsworth schooled himself on the new and evolving science of DNA evidence. He vehemently fought to have the evidence against him tested by this then-novel method. Traces of DNA in the victim's underwear did not match Bloodsworth. As a result, in 1993, Bloodsworth was released. In 2003, Maryland authorities searched their DNA database for a "cold hit" match of the evidence. The search yielded a convicted rapist who was later found guilty of the 1984 murder.