After Rick Magnis, a Texas judge, reviewed the evidence in Benjamine Spencer’s case, he recommended a new trial for Spencer “on the grounds of actual innocence.” But Texas’s highest criminal court took the rare step of rejecting the judge’s ruling. Why? Because Spencer did not meet the state’s “Herculean” standard of unassailable proof, such as DNA, that would remove all doubts of his innocence. According to the judge who wrote the opinion denying Spencer a new trial, this standard has kept innocent people in prison without a possibility of getting out.
In this third and final chapter of “No Way Out,” we reveal more evidence that points to Spencer’s innocence: A new witness who confirms his alibi, new technology that calls into question the testimony of the star eyewitness in his trial, and a full recantation by another key eyewitness against him. We also share a stunning discovery: potential DNA evidence that offers Spencer the thinnest hope of meeting the state’s astronomical burden of proof.
And yet, none of this may be enough to exonerate Benjamine Spencer. In this episode, we explore why that is.
Key individuals mentioned in this story (listed in order of appearance):