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Captive Study #16 (Paul House)
Captive Study #16 (Paul House)
Watercolor on paper
10" x 8"

Paul House served 22 years on Tennessee's death row before evidence of his innocence — and the intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court — cleared him of murder and led to his release.

Yet several witnesses came forward with evidence that the victim's abusive husband had killed her. Two women claimed that Mr. Muncey had confessed to the crime at a party one night. A third woman saw him hitting his wife at a dance. A fourth said he had asked her to provide an alibi for him on the night his wife was killed.

Further analysis of the blood on House's jeans cast doubt on whether the blood was actually deposited during the course of the crime. The blood vials were not sealed, and were driven 10 hours to the FBI lab by two law enforcement officers. The blood spoiled during the trip due to heat exposure, and FBI records showed that a significant amount of blood from the autopsy vials was missing when the officers arrived at the lab.

More exculpatory evidence came in the late 1990s, after House had spent over a decade in prison— contrary to the testimony of an FBI expert at trial.