DNA Testing Demonstrates James Bain is Innocent
Bain has Served Over 35 Years for a Rape he Did Not Commit; Attorneys Call for Release by Christmas
Tallahassee, Florida—On Thursday, December 9, 2009, DNA Diagnostics Center, a nationally recognized forensic laboratory in Fairfield, Ohio, issued a report in the case of State of Florida v. James Bain, which demonstrates Bain’s actual innocence of a 1974 kidnapping and rape of a nine-year-old boy in Lake Wales, Polk County, Florida.
The court ordered testing on DNA of sperm found on the child’s underwear worn during the rape only after the State Attorney agreed to the testing and to this nationally-recognized lab. The testing, announced today, excludes James Bain as the donor of the sperm, confirming that someone other than Bain raped the victim. “After over 35 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, this evidence of actual innocence should finally allow the State to do the right thing and release this innocent man before he spends his 36th Christmas locked up for a crime he didn’t have anything to do with,” said Bain’s local counsel, Bob Young, General Counsel in the office of J. Marion Moorman, Public Defender of the Tenth Judicial Circuit.
Bain was convicted when the jury rejected his alibi evidence (he was home with his sister) in favor of the eye-witness identification of the nine-year-old victim. The jury also heard conflicting testimony about ABO blood grouping, but believed the little boy to the exclusion of the other evidence. “Today’s DNA results demonstrate conclusively that the victim was mistaken about who raped him and the FBI’s testimony regarding whose semen was on the underwear was simply wrong,” said Melissa Montle, Staff Attorney with the Innocence Project of Florida (IPF).
According to the Innocence Project of Florida, witness misidentification and faulty forensics are two of the leading causes of wrongful convictions. Specifically, witness misidentification is the leading cause, contributing to almost 80% of the 245 wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing nationwide.
Bain tried numerous times to file his own requests for DNA testing since 2001. Until the agreement of this State Attorney in October 2009, he was rebuffed by the courts at every turn. “Jamie Bain has always known he was innocent and has been trying to get this DNA testing for almost a decade. Florida’s criminal justice system is just ill-equipped to give folks like Jamie a meaningful opportunity to prove their innocence. Commendably, the State agreed to the testing and I hope that after seeing these conclusive DNA test results, they will agree that Jamie should come home by Christmas,” said IPF’s Executive Director, Seth Miller.
When informed of the results, Bain said, “I always knew I was innocent. I’ve been waiting well over half my life for this miracle. I hope to be back with my family real soon.”
The Innocence Project of Florida (IPF) is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding and freeing innocent people in Florida prisons. IPF, along with Robert Young, General Counsel for the Tenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender, J. Marion Moorman, represents James Bain. IPF’s website is www.FloridaInnocence.org.