Friday, December 18, 2009

Florida Man is Freed After 35 Years

The Innocence Project now counts 248 people exonerated by DNA testing.

James Bain was released from prison this morning in Florida after serving 35 years in prison for a crime DNA now proves he didn’t commit. He is a free man today for the first time since 1974 and becomes the 248th person exonerated through DNA evidence in the United States.

Bain was convicted of kidnapping and raping a nine-year-old boy in Lake Wales, Florida, in 1974. The victim described the perpetrator and the victim’s uncle said the description sounded like James Bain. The victim then viewed a photo lineup and identified Bain as the perpetrator. He would later say in a deposition that he had been asked to “pick out Jimmie Bain.”

Bain was 19 years old when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. He sought DNA testing several times on appeal, but was denied in 2001, 2003 and 2006. The Innocence Project of Florida took on his case and obtained DNA testing on evidence from the crime scene. The results, received last week, confirmed that Bain was not the perpetrator of the crime.

He was freed this morning and will go live with family members.

"I guess I kind of feel like when they first landed on the moon,” he told reporters after his release. “We have touchdown," he said, laughing.

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