Did innocent man die?

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Coleman was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of 19-year-old Wanda McCoy, his wife’s sister, who was found raped, stabbed and nearly beheaded in her home in the coal mining town of Grundy. Coleman’s attorneys argued that he did not have time to commit the crime, that tests showed semen from two men was found inside McCoy and that another man bragged about murdering her. Coleman was executed on May 20, 1992. “An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight,” the 33-year-old said moments before he was electrocuted. “When my innocence is proven, I hope America will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all other civilized countries have.” RICHMOND, Va. – With less than two weeks left in Gov. Mark R. Warner’s term, time is running out for him to arrange DNA testing that could determine whether Virginia sent an innocent man to the electric chair in 1992. If the tests show Roger Keith Coleman did not rape and murder his sister-in-law in 1981, it will mark the first time in the United States an executed person has been scientifically proved innocent, say death penalty opponents, who are keenly aware that such a result could have a powerful effect on public opinion. “I think it would be the final straw for a lot of people who are on the fence on the death penalty,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington. Warner – a potential Democratic presidential contender for 2008 – hopes to complete negotiations over how the test would be conducted before his term ends Jan. 14, said spokesman Kevin Hall. last_img read more