Only the guilty leave prison: the innocent remain locked up. Catch 22 has kept Derek Bromley 30 years behind bars. Soon, even he may breathe freely again.
‘Innocent’ man free after 30 years
A man 30 years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit, may soon be free.
On Thursday 12 September 2013 Derek Bromley was advised that the Parole Board of South Australia had recommended that he be released on parole. He has so far served nearly 30 years imprisonment – 6 years over his non-parole period.
Bromley had previously been advised that the Federal Attorney-General’s Department had granted him ‘major-case’ funding for his appeal under the new statutory appeal right which is now available in South Australia. He was subsequently refused legal aid funding by the Legal Services Commission in SA.
The recommendation for parole will need to be ratified by the Executive Council of the South Australian Government.
Bromley’s legal team are continuing to develop the appropriate grounds for his appeal.
Derek Bromley was convicted of the murder of Stephen Docoza in 1984. Although he completed his prison sentence in 2008, he remains in prison because he maintains that he is innocent. In many jurisdictions, it works like this:
Before a person can be released from prison, especially after serving a lengthy sentence, the person has to complete a “re-socialisation” course. Part of the course requires the person to explain how they have come to terms with their wrongdoing. Usually, an explanation along the lines of ‘I’m a changed person and realise that what I did was wrong and I would never do such a thing again’, would be expected.
Because Bromley has maintained for nearly three decades that he was wrongly convicted, he is not in a position to apologise or state that he won’t do it again.
Prison authorities take the view that he is in denial, because he has been convicted. However, anyone who reads his petition will immediately realise that it was based on evidence which was thoroughly unreliable.
The authorities will not refer his case back to the courts so that the unreliability of the evidence can be tested. Bromley will not confess to something he says he did not do. The net result is that he has remained in indefinite detention at the cost to the taxpayer of some $100,000 a year currently.
Further details on his case are available at: http://netk.net.au/BromleyHome.asp