DNA evidence has identified criminals and solved crimes, and can also exonerate the innocent.
BARTOW, Fla. — James Bain used a cell phone for the first time Thursday, calling his elderly mother to tell her he had been freed after 35 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Mobile devices didn’t exist in 1974, the year he was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping a 9-year-old boy and raping him in a nearby field.
Neither did the sophisticated DNA testing that officials more recently used to determine he could not have been the rapist.
“Nothing can replace the years Jamie has lost,” said Seth Miller, a lawyer for the Florida Innocence Project, which helped Bain win freedom. “Today is a day of renewal.”
A competent defense lawyer might have obtained justice long ago.
Rhode Island is going to have SANE-Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, on call starting this year. We’ll join the rest of the fifty states in starting a program that has potential to reduce crime by putting repeat offenders in jail.
For more information, call Victims of Crime Helpline at 1-800-494-8100.