12 January 2006

DNA Tests Confirm Guilt in Executed Rapist & Murderer

Roger Keith Coleman was executed nearly 14 years ago. He claimed to the end that he was innocent. After much controversy, Coleman's guilt was confirmed by new DNA testing. The results were announced today by Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner.

10 comments:

TWM said...

That has gotta hurt the anti-DP crowd.

Tom McKenna said...

And the left gets slapped down yet again. They'll have to move on to the next case to find their elusive innocent victim of the death penalty. Gov. Warner and Tim Kaine must be sorely disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how anyone could be disappointed to learn that we did NOT execute an innocent man. It's more of a relief, however much the opposite result would have helped end executions.

Anonymous said...

I agree that why would someone be disappointed to learn that he was actually guilty?

Most of the reactions that I have read say the correct thing:
The gist: "We are sad to learn that we were wrong in thinking that he was innocent. The truth is always a good thing."

Anonymous said...

Mr. McKenna's tone seems to imply that we would have been better off without testing and knowing for sure...

Steve Armstrong said...

“Why would someone be disappointed to learn that he was actually guilty?”
I’ll tell you. Some people would be ECSTATIC to learn that the state put to death an innocent man. These are people so driven by their own ideology that they would actually take great delight in an error in our justice system that would have allowed a wrongful death. To deny the existence of such people is to deny the very simple fact that there are those in this world who care not for right and wrong, but only for their own politically-driven agendas.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Certainly, there are people who would be happy to find out that an innocent man had been put to death. There are fringe people in every issue.

The point is that the truth is what most sane people want.

So why would anyone oppose DNA testing? If the test shows that an innocent person was killed, that means that the guilty person is still free. Moreover, a prosecutor has a special duty to justice.

Ken Lammers said...

I think a fair characterization of most death penalty opponents (even including fanatics) would be that they think themselves in pursuit of a greater good - elimination of an unjust punishment. I think they would see themselves not as gleeful that the system had killed an innocent man but fully willing to use that fact as proof of the distasteful truth that the system has certainly killed men not guilty of the convicted offense.

Ken Lammers said...

Why oppose DNA testing?

The usual reasons given seem to be

1) We've already proven guilt at trial, and
2) Finality.

Anonymous said...

1) We've already proven guilt at trial, and
2) Finality.


I can, to some extent, understand the second. The first has never made sense to me. Should a DNA test contradict the trial, then by definition the decision was incorrectly reached. Attempting to elevate a legal process above obvious truth strikes me as extremely Kafka inspired.

For the record, I'm an opponent of the death penalty, not because of abstract ethical opposition; rather because I do not trust the state to get it right.