Dallas County Exonoree Working to Free Others - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas County Exonoree Working to Free Others

Christopher Scott raising money for lie detector, DNA testing



    Christopher Scott was the first Dallas County man to be released without DNA evidence, now he's on a mission to help others who may have been wrongly convicted. (Published Friday, June 1, 2012)

    After spending 12 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, a Dallas man is working with the District Attorney's Office to try and help others.

    When he was exonerated in 2010, Christopher Scott was the first man released in Dallas County without DNA evidence.

    Scott has started the nonprofit House of Renewed Hope and is raising money to help others he believes have been wrongly convicted.

    He said he is focusing on Jimmy Lee Osteen's case. Osteen, 41, is serving 75 years for aggravated robbery. The two were buddies when Scott was behind bars.

    "There were many mornings we'd get up in the morning and go to the law library, trying to fight our cases and, you know, when you sitting side-by-side with someone, and they're pleading their innocence, you're like, 'You know, maybe the guy is telling the truth,'" Scott said.

    Osteen is one of the 200 open cases in the Dallas County Conviction Integrity Unit. Scott is working with the chief of the unit, Russell Wilson, looking at evidence and raising money for things such as lie-detector and DNA testing that must be done to prove innocence.

    "Having gone through the experience of having been wrongly convicted can certainly bring a different perspective to the table that's not already there," Wilson said.

    It takes a lot of legal expertise to have a conviction overturned, but Scott was freed with the help of an undergraduate college student at the University of Texas at Arlington. He said he is hoping he can do the same for Osteen and countless others.