When Robert DuBoise was jailed for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl, he himself was only 18. A trace of a bite should convict him in 1985. After 37 years in Florida, it’s now clear: DuBoise wasn’t the culprit.
A cheek wound was his undoing
DNA tests show the current 56-year-old was behind bars due to a mistrial. In 1985 he was initially sentenced to death. But the Florida Supreme Court commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. DuBoise was imprisoned for 37 years. For 37 years, the inmate has protested his innocence in the crime against Barbara Grams.
The accusation: DuBoise is said to have crossed the city of Tampa with his brother and a friend, and then kidnapped, raped and killed the young woman. During the trial, the accused suffered a cheek injury. One dentist identified it as a bite, another expert said DuBoise must have been the one who inflicted the wound on the victim. A prison informant also claimed that the defendant had admitted the crime to him.
DNA testing proved his innocence
The alleged accomplices have never been charged for lack of evidence, after five years all evidence was duly destroyed. The New York Times reports that the man’s innocence was only established through an initiative to detect judicial errors and modern investigative techniques.
Since the forensic institute had secured the DNA material from Gram’s body, an investigation could now be conducted. He confirmed what DuBoise had always said: he is not a killer or a rapist.
“He basically walked from high school to death row”
A judge ordered the immediate release of the man who had been innocent in prison for 37 years due to new evidence on Thursday. The district attorney in charge said he apologized “on behalf of the entire criminal justice system”. Upon his release, DuBoise was welcomed by his mother and sister.
Now is the time to make up for lost time. A supporter of the miscarriage justice initiative told the Tampa Bay Times, “He basically wandered from high school to death row.”