25 June 2006

No Evidence from Hopewell, Virginia has a Valid Chain of Evidence Going Back Years

Apparently, the police aren't cooperating with the prosecutor's office:
"This hearing is for Ms. Martin to examine the police officers because the commonwealth doesn't have the information to give."
And what a hearing it was. Under examination by defense attorney Mary Martin, Jean Cameron, the former property and evidence technician for Hopewell, testified that there were problems inventorying the items under the control of the Property and Evidence office, that as many as six people had keys, that the door had been found open several times, that evidence had been stored improperly in the accessible outer office, civilians have been know to roam the police station, and that she once found the juvenile son of the chief of police playing in the evidence storage area.

To quote the judge:
"Quite frankly, I don't know what exculpatory evidence could take the taint away from that room."
Do you realize what it takes to get a Virginia judge, who must eventually face the Virginia General Assembly and humbly ask to be allowed to keep his job, to say somwething like that? Every conviction for years will come into play and the Court of Appeals will have to spend whole minutes thinking of reasons for denying petitions of actual innocence. All the current cases which rely on any type of evidence are up a certain creek with no paddle for miles.

Articles here & here.

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