Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bennett Barbour: "Wrongful Convictions Blog" message to Virginia: Step up efforts to locate convicted persons excluded by DNA;

STORY: "A suggestion for Virginia: Step up efforts to locate convicted persons excluded by DNA," by Nancy Petro, published on March 27, 2012.

GIST: "The Barbour case has focused the nation’s attention on the can of worms opened by Governor Warner in 2005. While the state can point to some effort made to contact those convicted of crimes in which biological evidence survives for testing and while the state has notified prosecutors in the jurisdiction of those crimes in which the convicted person has been excluded by the testing, bottom line, 42 of the 76 convicts—or families of convicts when deceased—excluded of their crime scene evidence, had not been contacted as of earlier this year. Many must assume that Virginia has not made clarifying the outcomes of this long and costly project enough of a priority. To signify Virginia’s commitment to truth in justice, the state needs to establish an effective method of locating these individuals or their families. It needs to communicate this new test result information to the victims of crimes when a wrongful conviction is confirmed. It needs to reinvestigate those cases in which wrongful conviction is apparent. If the state claims it cannot find those convicted persons whose DNA has now been excluded, it might turn to its collections department—the agency or state-employed service organizations that locate those who owe the state back taxes or other debts. They are very good at what they do and can probably find the missing persons in short order."

The entire post 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:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.