By Margaret Edds
How is it attainable for an blameless guy to return inside of 9 days of execution? An Expendable guy solutions that question via designated research of the case of Earl Washington Jr., a mentally retarded, black farm hand who was once convicted of the 1983 rape and homicide of a 19-year-old mom of 3 in Culpeper, Virginia. He spent nearly 18 years in Virginia prisons—9 0.5 of them on demise row—for a homicide he didn't commit.This ebook finds the relative ease with which people who stay at society's margins will be wrongfully convicted, and the intense hassle of correcting any such improper as soon as it occurs.Washington used to be ultimately freed in February 2001 no longer due to the criminal and judicial platforms, yet even with them. whereas DNA checking out was once crucial to his eventual pardon, such checks may by no means have happened with no an surprisingly gifted and dedicated criminal crew and with out a sequence of incidents which are top defined as natural luck.Margaret Edds makes the chilling argument that another “expendable males” probably were much less lucky than Washington. This, she writes, is “the mystery, shameful underbelly” of America's retention of capital punishment. Such wrongful executions won't ensue usually, yet an individual who doubts that blameless humans were completed within the usa should still take into account the amazing sequence of occasions essential to shop Earl Washington Jr. from this type of destiny.
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Extra resources for An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr.
L. 8 He also saw something that appeared to be a woman lying in a doorway. Jackson rushed to investigate. Halfway across the parking lot, he could see that his impression was correct. “It appeared to be a white female, screaming and hollering, ‘Help me. Help me,’” he testiﬁed. “I continued on and as I was approaching, getting closer, I could see what appeared at this time to be blood spots and she was crying, hollering, screaming, saying . . stating that, ‘He hurt me. ’ I approached her and I asked her what happened and she stated that she had been raped.
After visiting a friend when she saw a light in the basement of Shadow Lawn, where she worked. Bending over to check a basement window, she was grabbed from behind, threatened with a knife, and raped. ” Washington denied knowledge of the rape, but Schrum was not convinced. There was something odd about the way Earl was answering questions. The prisoner was pleasant, unusually so under the cir- CONFESSIONS 37 cumstances. “He was a likable sort of guy to sit down and talk to. He wasn’t vulgar. He wasn’t cussing or anything.
There were a few other adolescent transgressions, but none so serious as to pierce Lynn’s radar screen. Within the family circle, Washington was louder and more assertive. He had a reputation for doling out treats to neighborhood children, but he could lose his temper when provoked. His weakness for alcohol was beginning to show as well. Gradually, Earl Jr. joined in the weekend drinking sprees that were the family norm. In the spring of 1983 he was arrested for driving under the inﬂuence of alcohol and being without a driver’s license, charges that were later dropped in the midst of the murder investigation.
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