Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Nov. 30, 2021

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Innocent Florida inmate released after 37 years

A Florida man who spent the last 37 years in prison on a rape and murder charge walked out of prison after officials discovered dramatic new evidence that proved his innocence

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Robert Duboise hugs his mother after being released from prison Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Bowling Green, Fla. Duboise, who spent the last 37 years in prison on a rape and murder charge, was ordered released after officials discovered new evidence that proved his innocence.
Robert Duboise hugs his mother after being released from prison Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Bowling Green, Fla. Duboise, who spent the last 37 years in prison on a rape and murder charge, was ordered released after officials discovered new evidence that proved his innocence. (Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP) (steve nesius/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

BOWLING GREEN, Fla. — A Florida man who spent the last 37 years in prison on a rape and murder charge was released Thursday, hours after officials revealed dramatic new evidence that proved his innocence.

Robert DuBoise walked out of the Hardee Correctional Institution in Bowling Green, Fla., shortly after 2 p.m.

“It’s an overwhelming sense of relief,” Robert DuBoise told reporters outside the prison. “I prayed to God every day and hoped for it.”

The 56-year-old was serving a life sentence, having been convicted in 1983 for the murder of 19-year-old Barbara Grams. She had been raped and beaten while walking home from her job at a Tampa mall.

Duboise’s conviction centered on one piece of evidence: an alleged bite mark on the victim’s face. A jailhouse informant’s testimony also helped convict him.

On Thursday, a lawyer from the Innocence Project and a lawyer from the Hillsborough County Conviction Review Unit spoke during an online court hearing and addressed the false evidence that led to Duboise’s conviction. Experts proved the mark wasn’t from a bite, and the jailhouse informant was not credible.

Judge Christopher Nash ruled that Duboise, who is serving his sentence in Hardee County, Fla., should be released immediately.

The case has been reopened and authorities have a suspect in Grams’ rape and murder.

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