DNA test confirms guilt of Virginia man executed in 1992

[JURIST] DNA test results [text, PDF; press release] released Thursday by the State of Virginia have apparently confirmed the guilt of Roger Keith Coleman [advocacy website], who was convicted of the 1981 rape and murder of his sister-in-law and was executed in 1992 despite a significant effort by death penalty [JURIST news archive] opponents to stay the sentence. The Centre of Forensic Sciences [official website] in Toronto, Canada, concluded that "The probability that a randomly selected individual unrelated to Roger Coleman would coincidentally share the observed DNA profile is estimated to be 1 in 19 million." Virginia Governor Mark Warner [official website] ordered the tests [JURIST report] last week, marking the first time a governor has requested DNA testing to potentially exonerate someone who has already been executed. A 1990 DNA test suggested that Coleman's DNA would match around 2% of Virginia's Caucasian and African-American population; Warner ordered the most recent test, using newer, more accurate technology, to lay the controversy surrounding Coleman's professed innocence to rest. AP has more.



 

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