Thursday, July 21, 2011

James Bains: Wrongly imprisoned 35 years

Imprisoned for 35 years for rape, and it took the Innocence Project to test the evidence and prove the man innocent.

The first story below conveniently leaves out the fact of Mr. Bain's innocence, proved by the Innocence Project rather than the state of Florida.

The account from the Innocence Project gives a fuller account including shoddy police work and a

[Posted: 9:45 am EDT July 21, 2011

POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- A Polk county man who was wrongly convicted of raping a fourth grade boy more than three decades ago is finally getting compensated by the state.

James Bain spent 35 years in prison after being convicted in 1974. He was 18 at the time.
Bain was released from prison in 2009 after DNA evidence cleared his name.]

...[The State’s case was based largely on serology on the underwear performed by the FBI and the victim’s identification of Bain as his assailant...

1) Victim’s Misidentification: The police had already arrived at the victim’s home when he returned after the assault. The victim gave the officers a physical description of his assailant, which included very prominent sideburns, and said he identified himself as “Jimmy.” The description was then given to the victim’s uncle who stated that he knew an individual named Jimmy Bain who fit the description. After the uncle stated Bain’s name, the victim adopted Bain as his assailant. At this point, the police took the victim to the police station (along with his father and uncle) and presented him with a photo lineup. Bain’s photo was included in the lineup, along with four or five other males, only one of which had sideburns. Rather than asking the victim to pick out the photo of his assailant, the police suggestively and improperly instructed him to pick out Bain’s photo, and he did...

Jamie submitted handwritten motions four times seeking DNA testing, but he was denied each time. He was denied the fifth time, too, but an appeals court overturned that denial. The Innocence Project of Florida (IPF) stepped in to assist Mr. Bain, and he was finally able to get the DNA testing he’d wanted for so many years. Bob Young, General Counsel for the Tenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender, acted as co-counsel. The State Attorney agreed to the testing and it was sent to DNA Diagnostics Center, a private laboratory in Fairfield, Ohio. Testing on DNA of sperm found on the child’s underwear worn during the rape excluded James Bain as the donor of the sperm, confirming that someone other than Bain raped the victim.]

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