CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Innocent Man Executed? UPDATED: NO

From  RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- Gov. Mark R. Warner on Thursday ordered DNA evidence retested to determine whether a man convicted of rape and murder was innocent when he was executed in 1992.  If the testing shows Roger Keith Coleman did not rape and kill his sister-in-law in 1981, it will mark the first time in the United States a person has been exonerated by scientific testing after his execution, according to death penalty opponents.  Warner said he ordered the tests because of technological advances that could provide a level of forensic certainty not available in the 1980s.

UPDATE:  NO.  DNA testing supports guilt.  But: One scientist explains the limits of DNA evidence; given other circumstances, the test could not be conclusive.

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