Thursday, January 05, 2006

Roger Coleman DNA to be tested

It's official! Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia has ordered that DNA evidence in the case of Roger Keith Coleman, who was executed more than a decade ago, be tested. Here is a statement on this development from Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty:

"Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty applauds GovernorWarner's decision to test the DNA in the Roger Keith Coleman case. His action is an example of justice triumphing over easy politics.

Ordering this test was the only fair thing to do. Justice demands, and families deserve, certainty. We need to know that theperson punished for the crime actually committed that crime. This is especially important when it comes to the death penalty, because our mistakes cannot be corrected.

We have recently learned that Texas may have executed an innocent man. Missouri is reopening the case of an executed man believed to be innocent. An innocent man died of a heart attack on Florida's death row, and more than 120 people who spent time on death row have been freed because they were wrongfully convicted.

Regardless of the outcome of the test, Virginia has now set a precedent for the posthumous testing of existent DNA evidence and the retention of such biological exhibits so that further developments in the testing of DNA evidence can be used to resolve questions of possible innocence of executed individuals.

We join with the families of the Wanda McCoy and of Roger Coleman in praying that an innocent man was not executed for a crime he could not have committed. The only way to ensure that no innocent person dies is to impose a moratorium until the questions that surround the death penalty can be addressed."

11 comments:

Mark said...

The first question would be "what took Mark Warner so long?" he has had this before him for 4 years and he waits until about his last day in office to do anything. I suspect it was political cowardice though at least he should get credit for it, even if it was so much later than it should have been.

And thank God that Jerry Kilgore is not Governor and I say that as a Republican, that SOB would continue the cover up as he expressed was his intention on numerous occasions.

Should Coleman be exonerated Doug Wilder and the prosecutors need to be called to account and Coleman's Dad if he is still alive will be a very rich man though nothing could ever repay such a thing.

Hope they are able to intervieew Wilder and all the prison officials and guards involved in this, wonder if it would bother the "person" that pulled the switch that he killed an innocent man. Doubt it.

Mark said...

Oh and it's my understanding that contrary to what is stated in the original post, Roger Coleman's family is not "praying that an innocent man was not executed for a crime". They are praying that an innocent man WAS executed and thus Roger is exonerated.
I'm sure they would rather have him proven innocent than proven to have been rightfully executed.

Anonymous said...

Hello Activists,

I am from Grundy, Virginia, the town where Roger Keith Coleman was from. I have read and heard both sides of the arguement. Contrary to liberal media sources, Coleman had considerable evidence against him. This evidence includes consistent blood, sperm, and DNA evidence.

Many anti-death penalty activists such as this website have used half truths such as a random "pry-mark" to try to misrepresent the truth of what really happened to try to advance their agenda.
When the DNA test comes back soon from Canada (not the FBI Lab or the Virginia State Police Lab) I am certain that unless the evidence was tampered wtih it would almost be impossible for the DNA to come up any way but guilty.

I know Jerry Kilgore and he is not an SOB. He is a smart, funny, and benevolent person, and assuming he is an SOB because of his different political opinion is IGNORANT.

Anonymous said...

"DNA test confirms Coleman's guilt"

Posted by AP on January 12, 2006
Finally, an end to this madness. Justice was the outcome in this hideous event, and hopefully this will stop this ridiculous discussion going forward!

""According to the report, '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.'"

“We have sought the truth using DNA technology not available at the time the Commonwealth carried out the ultimate criminal sanction,” said Governor Warner in a news release. “The confirmation that Roger Coleman’s DNA was present reaffirms the verdict and the sanction. Again, my prayers are with the family of Wanda McCoy at this time,” the governor said."

Anonymous said...

Did Virginia execute an innocent man?

Uh, nope.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anyone acknowledge that it is possible that Coleman was the 1 in 19,000,000 that could have been the same? All this test proves is that it is possible that Coleman was innocent. Keep hope alive!

Anonymous said...

You are a dumbass

Sean G said...

Roger Coleman deserved his fate, he was a monster. I hope those of you who loved that sorry piece of crap are ashamed

Anonymous said...

I wonder if all the people who were taken in by Coleman's deceit are as ashamed as they should be right now. This guy had people going to bat for him, and in the end, his guilt was definitively confirmed. So, he died with blood on his handsa and a lie on his lips. I can't believe so many people were fooled by this monster.

Anonymous said...

The semen testing did not rule out Coleman but later found more DNA testing that indicated that a second person might have also particicpated in the crime. 1 in 19 million... its still possible he was inoocent.

coleman is guilty said...

John Tucker's book on Coleman leaves out very incriminating facts:

1. It omits the details of Matney's report of Coleman's alleged confession, simply dismissing Matney as a liar. But Matney referred to being told of a paper towel, and Coleman's alleged source of information swore on affidavit that he had said nothing to Coleman of a paper towel.

2. The book also says that Coleman's guilt is in question because from semen analysis it appears as if there was an accomplice, and Matney says (omitted from the book) that Coleman identified to him an accomplice: Danny Ray (Stiltner), one of the people who was known to be in a dispute with the McCoy family.

In short, Matney's report gives a quite plausible explanation of Coleman's guilt.

3. In the bag with Coleman's jeans from the day before there was a *bloodstained knife*, also not mentioned.

4. The book skims over the fact that approx. two weeks earlier Coleman had arrived at the house of Sandra Stiltner, an acquaintance of Coleman's, whom he later visited around the time of the murder to pick up a tape that he'd "forgotten" earlier. On that earlier occasion, Coleman asked her what liquor she would like, and he would go and buy it for her. Later he is found arriving late at night to ask for a tape ... but Sandra's husband was home early, so he left around the time that ... Very suspicious.
The authorities think that Sandra was Coleman's original intended victim. Again, this connection is omitted from the book.

5. One of the prosecutor's main reasons to focus on Coleman was his prior record as an attempted rapist. The book portrays Coleman as the victim of faulty ID by the victim, Brenda Ratliff. I.e., she saw him once, and then misidentified him. But no mention is made of the fact that while Coleman was out on bond during the proceediings for that case, he followed and intimidated Brenda Ratliff and her daughter, giving them both more chance to identify him with certainty (albeit after the original identification had been submitted to the authorities). This is not so incriminating, but it did deserve mention.

6. No description is made of Coleman's earlier life, his personality in highschool, what his friends recall of him, or the like. Wouldn't this be relevant?

7. Significantly, his father abandoned him as a child. How did he cope with this emotionally? Nothing mentioned. Psychopaths typically come from such backgrounds.

8. I could have missed it, but the book doesn't mention that blood on the left leg of his pants matched the blood type of a stab wound on Wanda McCoy's right leg in the same position of the leg, and that this was a key piece of evidence in the prosecution's case.