Commonwealth v. Kenneth Waters (1987)

Commonwealthv. Kenneth Waters (1987)

Commonwealthv. Kenneth Waters (1987) was a murder case in which Waters waswrongfully convicted for committing murder. The Commonwealth was theplaintiff while Waters was the defendant. The assassination ofKatherina Reitz Brow took place on May 21, 1980. The defendant wasfound guilty on May 11, 1983 by the state of Massachusetts and hisverdict was life imprisonment (Community College of Rhode Island,2011). Waters stayed in Massachusetts state prison for 18 yearspaying for a offense he was not involved in. During the initialinvestigations, the defendant had been excluded from the murder crimeas the fingerprint proof collected by the police did not match withhis. However, the police failed to provide these records to theprosecutors during the trial proceedings which resulted in Waters’conviction. The state’s case depended significantly on thestatements provided by false witnesses.

From1983 to 1999, Waters endeavor to appeal the case, as well as federalhabeas corpus relief were rejected (Innocence Project, n.d). The Ayerpolice department denied the defendant important proof to prove hisinnocence, encompassing timecards and fingerprints. Nevertheless,Waters’ sister, Betty Anne studied law with the aim of proving herbrother’s innocence. In 1999, she began fresh investigations andtogether with the Innocence Project, she was bale to carry out DNAtesting in 2000. The Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab confirmedthe results of the DNA which showed that Waters was not the executorof the crime. Waters was released by the court of appeal in June 19,2001 after he was proved innocent (Innocence Project, n.d). Currently, the Commonwealth is constitutionally obligated to generateexculpatory proof in criminal tries to allow the defendants to testand inspect. Through this, wrongful convictions would be prevented.


CommunityCollege of Rhode Island (2011). BettyAnne Waters ’89 shares journey of exoneration.Retrieved from

InnocenceProject (n.d). KennyWaters.Retrieved from