Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bennett Barbour: Virginia; His lawyers ask why state is not systematically reviewing cases lacking biological evidence. U. of VA.

REMINDER: MUST WATCH! BRENDA WAUDBY: CBC NATIONAL DOCUMENTARY "TRUTH, LIES AND CONFESSIONS": SUNDAY JUNE 24: "Canadians cheered when police obtained confessions from Russell Williams and Terri-Lynne McClintic for their horrific crimes. But others who've been subjected to police interrogations, including Brenda Waudby, say the aggressive techniques used by Canadian police are eliciting confessions from innocent people, too. Joe Schlesinger presents his special report, Truth, Lies and Confessions, Sunday, June 24 on CBC News The National." Airs at 10 p.m. on CBC Television, and at 9 p.m. ET on CBC News Network. Available online at after the broadcast."

STORY: "University of Virginia Law Clinic client feels 'vindicated' as Virginia Supreme Court clears his name: When the Virginia Supreme Court exonerated Bennett Barbour of a 1978 rape conviction late last month, he felt relief, yet also deep frustration that it took more than three decades to clear his name," published by the University of Virginia on June 12, 2012.

GIST: "Barbour's case was one of roughly 1,000 in Virginia that had DNA evidence dating back to the 1970s that then-Gov. Mark R. Warner ordered tested in 2005. To date, 10 people have been exonerated in Virginia thanks to post-conviction DNA testing. Enright and Engle said they are pleased with the court’s ruling in Barbour’s case, but remain skeptical that enough is being done to identify wrongful convictions in Virginia. "The work we did on Mr. Barbour’s behalf should not restore his — or anyone's — confidence in Virginia's criminal justice system," they said in a statement. "Mr. Barbour's wrongful conviction for rape came to light because of Gov. Mark Warner's insistence that the DNA evidence in old cases be tested. But the initial results in most of those cases have been inconclusive, and those inmates do not have lawyers and are not being told that they have the option of seeking more sophisticated testing. So it is impossible to know if additional testing could prove their innocence." Moreover, Enright and Engle said, Virginia is not systemically reviewing the cases in which there was no biological evidence that could be tested for DNA — and those are the vast majority of criminal cases. "There’s no reason to think that similar mistakes weren’t made in many of those cases as well," they said. "Our Innocence Project reviews old cases, of course — but two directors and 12 clinic students can only do a few cases a year..."

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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