Last week in Macon, Miss., Kennedy Brewer, sentenced to death and locked up for 15 years for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old, was released on the strength of a DNA test showing that the semen in the rape kit was not his. But Brewer is not free and clear. Prosecutors intend to retry him for the crime, reports the New York Times. This is the first time prosecutors have sought a new capital murder trial after a conviction was overturned by DNA evidence, said Peter Neufeld, director of the Innocence Project, a legal aid group based in New York that has used DNA testing to exonerate the wrongly convicted since 1992. Usually such cases are simply dropped.
But prosecutors are not convinced of the innocence of Brewer, a black laborer who is mildly retarded. Forrest Allgood, the district attorney who first tried the case, said his theory then was that Brewer, who was the boyfriend of the victim's mother, acted alone. His view has changed. “I perceive that Kennedy Brewer assisted someone else in the killing of the child,” Allgood said. “Whether he actually penetrated that child or not functionally doesn't make any difference if he was aiding, assisting and encouraging in her death.”