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Man Exonerated After 37 Years in Prison: “I Appreciate Everything”

It’s the peace of mind Robert DuBoise had spent decades waiting for. On Monday morning, a judge exonerated him after he spent 37 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.

“I’ve just been kind of laying low waiting for this day, and now I’m going to try to get on with my life,” DuBoise said.


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Judge Christopher Nash reversed DuBoise’s convictions during a virtual hearing for the 1983 rape and murder of Barbara Grams. 

A bite mark on her body was the only piece of evidence prosecutors had to send DuBoise to prison. 

Last month, Hillsborough’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) discovered DNA evidence, thought to be lost for decades, that proved he was innocent.

Furthermore, bite mark evidence has since been discredited by modern science.

Two new persons of interest have been identified with the rediscovered evidence.

“We can’t provide any additional information at this time. This is a new, active and ongoing investigation,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said.

DuBoise was released from prison a few weeks ago but says he couldn’t truly enjoy his freedom until he heard those words from the judge. 

Despite it all, he’s ever the optimist:  

“You don’t know what today’s going to bring. You don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. Tell her you love her. Me, I’d go outside at 2 a.m. with a cup of coffee and see the moonlight and the sky and the stars, and I’m ok,” he said.

“Cause I can actually take it in, when other people go out of their house to go to work in the morning, jump in their car, and they’re gone. They never look up. I appreciate everything.”

DuBoise left the courthouse with hugs and visions of a new chapter in life. 

“I really see hope now,” he said.

State Attorney Andrew Warren also announced a partnership with the Innocence Project to review other Hillsborough County cases that used bite mark evidence.  

It’ll be the first audit of its kind to be done by a CRU, and the state attorney’s office hopes others will soon follow suit.

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