According to Dr. Michael Baird, DDC's chief scientific officer, "It was remarkable to see how riveted the attendees were to hear Mr. McClendon's story first-hand through his poem, 'Hello Truth,' and to see the surprise on his face as the white veil was pulled away to show that we've named the DNA analyzer in his honor. He even asked to kiss the machine. Most of the attendees were quite knowledgeable about DNA and were interested in techniques that we perform that are not yet available in other countries, while others were discussing starting up programs for the first time in their own countries. It puts into perspective how important the work we do here at DDC truly is."
McClendon gave credit to the legal staff at the University of Cincinnati, the Ohio Innocence Project and the DDC experts who worked his case to find the evidence that proved he was innocent. BET (Black Entertainment Television) is currently filming a documentary on McClendon and was present for the unveiling and naming.
"It was a privilege to host such a distinguished group of international representatives who are fighting for those who are wrongfully incarcerated around the world," Dr. Julie Heinig, assistant laboratory director, said. "Approximately 70 percent of the Innocence Network Organization's successful exonerations are due to DNA evidence. To witness Mr. McClendon's emotional recount of his journey, and for him to unveil the newly named DNA analyzer provided an incredible opportunity for these Innocence Network leaders to know this kind of experience is possible for their countries. It was very rewarding."
DDC's DNA testing has resulted in four high-profile exonerations connected to the Innocence Network Organization since 2008. The most recent being that of Derrick
|SOURCE DDC (DNA Diagnostics Center)|
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