January 12, 2006

GUILTY AFTER ALL: A while back, I linked to a story about efforts to get DNA testing to find out if executed convict Roger Coleman was guilty after all.

Well, they've done the test, and here are the results:

A new round of DNA tests that death penalty opponents believed might finally prove that an innocent man was executed in the United States confirmed instead that Roger Keith Coleman was guilty when he went to the electric chair in 1992.

In a case closely watched by both sides in the death penalty debate, Gov. Mark Warner announced that testing on DNA taken from sperm proved Coleman committed the 1981 rape and murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy.

In a way this is a "dog bites man" story, but on the other hand, there's this bit from the same report:

Coleman went to his death proclaiming his innocence, and a finding that he was unjustly executed would have been explosive news that almost certainly would have had a powerful effect on the public's attitude toward capital punishment.

Not this time, though.