Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gov. Warner Orders DNA Testing of Old Cases to Determine and Free the Innocent

via talkleft...

The Washington Post reports that two more Virginia inmates convicted of rape, one of whom served 20 years before being released, have been determined to be factually innocent based on new DNA testing. The testing in one of the cases produced a "cold hit" to the true perpetrators....

In his statement released this afternoon, Gov. Warner says it's the morally correct thing to do:

"I believe a look back at these retained case files is the only morally
acceptable course, and what truth they can bring only bolsters confidence in our system. Our Department of Forensic Science has taken an impartial, scientific, and unrelenting approach to this review, and I commend their effort."...

Prosecutors in the two cases reported today have asked him to issue expedited and complete pardons to the men. How many more are there?

Virginia has executed more people than any other state except Texas since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. But its judicial system has been rocked in the last several years by exonerations from DNA testing in several high-profile cases.

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