Thursday, May 08, 2003

Virginia's Roger Coleman case still the target of death penalty opponents

Reuters has this report as further evidence of the absurdly successful publicity machine of those who think that Roger Coleman was innocent and that the DNA samples still frozen in California might someday prove it. Coleman was convicted of raping and killing his young cousin in Buchanan County and he was executed in 1992.

The question I'd like to have answered is - how do these people manage to keep this story in the news? Is this the best case anywhere in the United States for claiming that an innocent man was executed? If that is so, then the system works pretty well, because there were a lot of reasons to think that Coleman was guilty, even if he wasn't, and regardless of what further DNA testing in the Coleman case might show, the availability of more sophisticated DNA testing now would be seem to further decrease the likelihood of innocent men being executed. Coleman did have a form of DNA testing done before his death and the results showed that he was more likely rather than less likely to have committed the crime.

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