DNA tests prove another innocent man convicted of rape

By Sinclere Lee

BILLINGS, Montana (BNW) --
America’s criminal justice system is corrupted with over zealous prosecutors who need to be in prison themselves, and all the people in prisons across this country with the slightest evidence of innocence need to have their cases reviewed by an independent commission.

In the past few years, hundreds of innocent men sent to prison for crimes they did not do have been released because of DNA evidence. While DNA evidence has set many innocent men free, only God knows how many innocent men in this country are in prison for nothing, and there is no DNA evidence to prove their innocence.

I think that all the guilty should go free than to have one innocent man be sent to prison for nothing!

Another man has been freed because of DNA!

A man who spent 15 years in prison for allegedly raping an 8-year-old girl was freed Tuesday at the urging of prosecutors who said DNA evidence proves his innocence.

Jimmy Ray Bromgard, 33, immediately turned and hugged family members in the courtroom.

"I never did think he did it in the first place," said Bromgard's mother, Dianna Merrill.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh approved the request by the Yellowstone County attorney and Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath, who had asked the judge to vacate Bromgard's convictions based on the results of DNA testing that wasn't widely used at the time of Bromgard's trial.

"Clearly from the DNA analysis, Mr. Bromgard was wrongly and in error convicted," the judge said.

Baugh apologized to Bromgard and his family and ordered him to be freed immediately.

Bromgard had been serving a 40-year sentence for allegedly sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in her bedroom in Billings.

A jury found him guilty on three counts of rape following a 1987 trial.

The conviction was based largely on the testimony of the young victim and on testimony from a state crime lab expert. The expert testified that a pubic hair found in the girl's bedding was indistinguishable from samples taken from Bromgard.

However, Bromgard and attorneys from the Innocence Project, a group that seeks to free inmates through new tests, requested DNA tests. One, performed by an independent lab in California, showed the samples did not match Bromgard's DNA. Another by the Montana Crime Lab, confirmed the findings, officials said.

Separately, Peter Neufeld, an attorney for Bromgard and co-founder of the Innocence Project, called on McGrath to review other cases in which the same state crime lab expert testified on hair evidence.

McGrath said Tuesday that his office was reviewing Neufeld's request, adding, "I think it is something that we would want to look at on a case-by-case basis."

The Innocence Project says that Bromgard is the 111th inmate to have been freed in the United States through new DNA evidence.

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