Virginia Legal News

State has news about DNA, can’t find felons to tell

Posted in News by bobloblawsblog on October 19, 2008

State officials trying to notify hundreds of felons that their case files contain newly discovered, but decades-old DNA evidence that could exonerate them are having a hard time finding many of the convicts.

The problems prompted the Virginia State Crime Commission last week to order a team to study better ways of notifying more than 1,000 felons who committed certain crimes from 1973 through 1988. Last month, letters were sent to nearly 400 felons, but officials were still searching for addresses for the rest.

Of the letters that were mailed, 23 percent of the felons acknowledged receiving them, Shawn Armbrust, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, told the commission. Another 15 percent were returned by the postal service, she said.

Read the full story here.