Wrongful Convictions Plague Virginia

Randall Page

Across the state of Virginia, many innocent people are found guilty of the crimes of someone else. It has been shown over the years that DNA evidence, an admission of guilt by the actual offenders, and much more are unable to stop a driven prosecutor and an unreliable jury from sentencing someone to jail in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In fact, as the Virginia Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Virginia are oftentimes unwilling to review previous cases, the burden may fall to the Innocence Project and even the governor of the state. To prevent such an event from occurring in the first place, it is critical that you contact a competitive Virginia criminal defense attorney from the Randall Page, P.C. as soon as possible.

Weak Defense Teams and False Accusations Can Land Someone Behind Bars

Virginia has recently found itself at the center of numerous stories concerning the wrongful conviction of multiple men across the state. State governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, has recently used exclusive pardoning powers to release these men convicted of crimes that they did not commit, including two Norfolk residents following petitions sent by the Innocence Project at the University of Virginia’s School of Law.

Joey Carter’s attempt to be freed from prison was finally successful following a strong case made by the Innocence Project to Gov. Northam in early August of 2021. Carter was accused and jailed for the stabbing murder of Juan Nuñez-Reyes. The majority of the persecution team’s claims in the original case were centered around an eyewitness identification by a neighbor.

After a complete lack of physical or forensic evidence, the state of Virginia relied only on a lackluster witness testimony that was nefariously obtained by the former detective of the City of Norfolk, Robert Glenn Ford. Ford reportedly had a history of unethical behavior while working for the investigations team. Carter’s release comes after he was wrongfully sentenced to two life sentences plus 30 years in 1989 on the charges of first-degree murder, statutory burglary, attempted robbery, and robbery.

Another Norfolk resident by the name of Bobbie Morman Jr. was also released by Gov. Ralph Northam. After serving 22 years in prison for a drive-by shooting, Morman Jr. would begin his 48-year sentence at the age of 18 in 1993. Although men in the vehicle testified that he was not in the car, the prosecution’s case was again centered entirely around eyewitness testimony. His charges included three counts of attempted malicious wounding paired with firearms charges. The Innocence Project’s petition came after the state Supreme Court and the Virginia Court of Appeals denied all of his appeal requests.

The Innocence Project has remained adamant about the unreliable nature of eyewitness testimony over the years, along with the severe impacts a rogue police officer can have on a case. According to the Innocence Project, 75% of wrongful convictions that were overturned by DNA evidence nationwide involved erroneous eyewitness testimonies and identifications. Many states have begun to make reforms due to the convictions caused by these wrongful eyewitness testimonies – reforms the Commonwealth of Virginia has yet to make. Additional stress has been placed on police departments to review their officers’ and investigators’ behaviors when following up crimes with interrogations and other types of the police investigation.

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney

Sometimes, false eyewitness testimonies and other forms of wrongful accusations are unavoidable. To evade being falsely persecuted for the criminal actions of another individual, please call 757-517-8956 or click here for a consultation with a Virginia criminal defense attorney. Doing so may be the difference between living a life behind bars and continuing your life as you know it. Randall Page, P.C. is here to do everything in our power to defend your rights in a court of law.

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