This news from the Commonwealth relevant to the death penalty debate:
DNA tests released this afternoon confirmed the guilt of a Virginia man who had proclaimed his innocence in a slaying and rape even as he was strapped into the state’s electric chair in 1992.
Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) said modern-day genetic analysis that was not available in the early 1990s proves that Roger K. Coleman was present at the crime.
“We have sought the truth using DNA technology not available at the time the Commonwealth carried out the ultimate criminal sanction,” Warner said in a statement. “The confirmation that Roger Coleman’s DNA was present reaffirms the verdict and the sanction.”
I’m happy this was done now that DNA testing has progressed since Virginia prosecuted the case and executed Coleman. Gov. Warner made the right decision. However, that does not alter my opinion of the death penalty. Everything I’ve said in the past still applies. Contrary to what Gov. Warner said, this reaffirms only the verdict. The sanction continues to stand as an uncivilized abomination.