Wrongfully convicted man to get $632,000 – Crime & courts- msnbc.com

Posted: August 20, 2009 in News Articles

Wrongfully convicted man to get $632,000 – Crime & courts- msnbc.com

Arthur Whitfield, 54, of Norfolk, VA. was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to 63 years in prison. A 2004 DNA test proved his innocence and he was freed.

Whitfield needed paperwork stating his innocence in order to receive state restitution, but the Virginia Supreme Court could not issue such a finding — called a "writ of actual innocence" — because the law at that time allowed that only for those who were incarcerated.

Whitfield’s only hope was a pardon from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, but because one of the rape victims opposed the pardon it took until April for Kaine to grant it.

"When we have a victim who continues to assert that the individual is guilty, we obviously had to take some time and make sure we had that right," Kaine said Wednesday.

 

Cheers to the state of Virginia for being one of the twenty-five states that have statutes allowing for compensation to the wrongfully convicted, but jeers for having a law that only allows for a writ of actual innocence for those incarcerated. Just plain stupid!

What irritates me even more though is how the governor says "we obviously had to take some time and make sure we had that right," simply because one of the victims objected to the pardon. Where was this victim when the state released Whitfield five years ago because "DNA EVIDENCE CLEARED HIM?" Shouldn’t this victim have been objecting to Whitfield’s release in 2004 if she felt there were mistakes in the DNA testing? And if she was they could’ve double-checked the test results before they released a convicted rapist to the street where he could possibly commit another rape.

Ridiculous!

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