Monday, January 14, 2008

Virginia: Request (Update)

In a previous post (here) it was noted that Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) is being asked to pardon four former sailors (Derek E. Tice, Joseph Dick, Danial Williams and Eric Wilson) who were convicted in the 1997 rape and murder of an 18-year old Norfolk woman. It is argued that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that a fifth man,Omar Ballard (also convicted for the rape and murder), acted alone. Ballard has stated that he alone committed the crime and, as it turns out, only his DNA was found at the crime scene. This news report notes, however, that the Virginia State Supreme Court has expressed its opinion on the matter. More specifically, the Court has suggested that Dereck E. Tice should remain in prison for life and the Court has argued that the evidence and the testimony of other witnesses discredits the theory Ballard acted alone. Justice Barbara Milano Keenan wrote (in the unanimous opinion of the Court),"In short, the record before us does not undermine confidence in the outcome of the proceedings." This story is also reported here and here and here.

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