Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Jimmy Ray Bromgard

First NameJimmy Ray
Last NameBromgard
Year of Conviction1987
Year of Exoneration2002
State of ConvictionMontana
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Victim described assailant as wearing brown pants. Defendant’s mother and stepfather testified that defendant did not nor has ever owned brown pants ● Defendant’s mother testified that defendant had returned home by the time the crime was committed

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

When asked if he raped victim and whether he had ever been at the scene of the crime, defendant testified “No.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Other
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(4) Hair match testimony with false probabilities
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

“The hair from the blanket on the left matches all the characteristics of the known pubic hair from James Bromgard on the right and they almost look like one hair.” The analyst then made up probabilities and multiplied them in an invalid fashion, testifying: “Well there are actually two mutually exclusive events because they come from different areas of the body and their characteristics are not necessarily the same. So if you find both head and pubic hair there you have one chance in a hundred for the head hair matching a particular individual and one chance in a hundred for the pubic hair. If you find both it’s a multiplying effect, it would be one chance in 10,000, it’s the same as two dice, if you throw one dice with a one, one chance out of six; if you throw another dice with a one, it’s one chance out of six, you multiply the odds together. You do the same in this case so it’s one times one hundred, times one, times one hundred, and you get one in 10,000.”

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Lineup Procedures
  • Lineup
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Victim not told attacker might not be in line-up, and believed attacker was to be in line-up

Quotes from testimony #1

Q. In respect to it, hadn’t they also told you that they had a suspect in that lineup and they wanted to see if she could pick it out? A. Yes. Q. So you knew there was a suspect, someone that she was perhaps to pick out from that lineup, is that correct? A. Yes.

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ●Initially uncertain of identification ● Discrepancies in description

Quotes from testimony #2

Q. And if we were to quit using percentages, would you say that you are, how would you describe how sure you are [about identification]? A. I am not too sure. Q. And he was standing then with his back to the door [where the light was]? A. Yes. Q. And yet you could see him clearly? A. No. Q. You could not see him clearly? A. Not too clearly. Q. You couldn’t make out what his face looked like or anything at that time? A. Sort of. Q. Just sort of? A. Yeah.

Highest level reachedState Post­ Conviction
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Jackson Claim
  • Jury Misconduct
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
Citations to judicial opinions

State v. Bromgard, 862 P.2d 1140 (Mont. 1993)
State v. Bromgard, 901 P.2d 611 (Mont. 1995)
State v. Bromgard, 948 P.2d 182 (Mont. 1997)

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