In 1974, a 9-year-old Polk County boy was taken from his bedroom and raped in a field. The boy's uncle, a high school assistant principal, said the description of the attacker sounded like a student, Jimmy Bain.
Police went to Bain's home that evening and arrested him. The 19-year-old was sentenced to life in prison despite the fact that he had an alibi and his blood type didn't match the semen sample.
For 35 years, James Bain sat in prison as letter after letter asking for DNA testing was rejected.
Finally, in December 2009, the Innocence Project of Florida requested a DNA test that proved Bain didn't rape the boy. According to the Innocence Project of Florida, he has served the longest sentence of any DNA exoneree in the country.
The following year, the Florida Supreme Court created the 25-person Florida Innocence Commission with a mandate to report back on the flaws in the state's legal system that conspire to leave innocent men and women behind bars.
Just before being defunded by current governor Rick Scott, the group released their report in June, identifying among other problems these 6 ways Florida is keeping the wrongfully convicted in prison:
(Flickr photo by Peter Pawlowski.)