Delbert Tibbs (1939-2013)

Delbert TibbsState of Conviction: Illinois

Race: African American

Wrongful Conviction: Sexual assault

Exonerated Date: 1982

Years Served: 9

Delbert Tibbs, a former seminary student from Chicago, was stopped by the state police and questioned about the rape of 16-year-old and her friend. The rape survivor had described the offender as 5’6” with a dark complexion and a large Afro; Delbert stood 6’3” with a light complexion and had a small Afro. Yet after seeing photographs, her description of the killer changed dramatically. She said the killer was Delbert Tibbs. An all-white jury returned a guilty verdict against Delbert in less than two days and was sentenced to death row.

Source: Witness to Innocence

Read more about Delbert’s story here.