Saturday, June 05, 2004

DNA guru Blake to Virginia - Coleman samples not leaving my lab

The Roanoke paper reports here that DNA expert Edward Blake has declared that he will not release the DNA samples from Roger Keith Coleman stored in Blake's California laboratory. Blake questions whether the Commonwealth could or would do an adequate job of testing the sample.

Years ago, Blake's own evidence was cited by Judge Williams in support of the Court's conclusion to deny post-conviction relief to Coleman, who was later executed by the Commonwealth. Coleman v. Thompson, 798 F. Supp. 1209 (W.D. Va. 1992).

Regarding Blake's role in the Coleman case, the Roanoke paper notes: "Blake has had the sample in cold storage since 1990, when he was selected by Coleman's attorneys to perform DNA testing. At the time, Coleman was challenging his conviction, and his attorneys hoped technology not available at the time of his 1982 trial would clear him. It did not. Blake found that Coleman was within 2 percent of a population that could have produced the sperm sample."

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