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    A Virginia man wrongly convicted of multiple rapes in the mid-1980s and recently proven innocent by DNA evidence.

    I must share a personal aside here: I lived in Richmond, Virginia, during those years, and experienced a life-changing and traumatic event related to the topic of this story. The climate with regard to both race and a string of rapes in Richmond at the time was such that it does not surprise me that police were eager to put someone, anyone, in prison. It's wonderful that technology has helped to prove Mr. Haynesworth's innocence. And it's terrible that the utterly broken legal system in Virginia still doesn't want to set him free, 27 years later.

    DNA has since proved that he did not commit two of the rapes he was tried for. The DNA from those two cases pointed to another man, in prison for having committed multiple rapes in the same neighborhood that occurred after Mr. Haynesworth’s arrest. That man, Leon Davis, who identified himself to victims as “the Black Ninja,” is serving multiple life terms plus 100 years.

    Now Mr. Haynesworth, 46, is asking for full exoneration on all of the rape convictions, although DNA from the other two cases is not available. But the circumstantial evidence supporting Mr. Haynesworth’s claims of innocence is so powerful that along with his own lawyers, the prosecutors from both jurisdictions where the rapes occurred support his efforts, as well as the attorney general for the commonwealth, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli.

    With no one arguing against exoneration, most judges would be expected to congratulate Mr. Haynesworth on his new life, perhaps with an apology as well, and send him into daylight and freedom. But in July, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals of Virginia said, in essence, “Not so fast.” The court called for additional briefs in the case, which will be heard again on Tuesday by all of the judges of the court. It is a move that has left legal experts astonished.
    Read the full article: Man Cleared of Rape, but a Court Balks at Full Exoneration (NYT)


    Calling all those who claim the US Justice system is perfect! Despite the fact that they got it wrong they refuse to fully exonerate him..
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    I don't think I've ever heard anyone call the US legal system perfect, haha

    It is awful though that a man can spend so long in jail for crimes he didn't commit, and then they'll act like this. It must come as somewhat of a kick in the teeth to him.

    Personally, I think society has a terrible attitude towards men who have been arrested for rape. It seems as though as soon as a man is taken in for questioning, in people's eyes, he's a rapist, whether he's been convicted or not. Regardless of whether he's found guilty, people will whisper and make stupid comments like "You know, I always knew there was something a bit wrong about him", and if they're cleared its just the same - "There's no smoke without fire, just because they couldn't prove it doesn't mean it didn't happen" - for this reason I think that the details of people arrested for rape shouldn't be released at all until a guilty verdict has passed to improve the system, but that's a debate for another day. I bet this man will have to live being thought of as a rapist for the rest of his life.

    Sorry for going off-track.
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    the US justice system is FAR from perfect... i think it's very messed up... i've never heard anyone but patriotic americans claim it is.
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    (Original post by Boobies.)
    I don't think I've ever heard anyone call the US legal system perfect, haha

    It is awful though that a man can spend so long in jail for crimes he didn't commit, and then they'll act like this. It must come as somewhat of a kick in the teeth to him.

    Personally, I think society has a terrible attitude towards men who have been arrested for rape. It seems as though as soon as a man is taken in for questioning, in people's eyes, he's a rapist, whether he's been convicted or not. Regardless of whether he's found guilty, people will whisper and make stupid comments like "You know, I always knew there was something a bit wrong about him", and if they're cleared its just the same - "There's no smoke without fire, just because they couldn't prove it doesn't mean it didn't happen" - for this reason I think that the details of people arrested for rape shouldn't be released at all until a guilty verdict has passed to improve the system, but that's a debate for another day. I bet this man will have to live being thought of as a rapist for the rest of his life.

    Sorry for going off-track.
    I was speaking of this with a friend the other day... The stigma of this will forever burden his existence...

    And go onto my troy davis thread, the amount of people saying the american system is virtually flawless is shocking

    (Original post by Bellissima)
    the US justice system is FAR from perfect... i think it's very messed up... i've never heard anyone but patriotic americans claim it is.
    See what i wrote the boobies
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    (Original post by Boobies.)
    I don't think I've ever heard anyone call the US legal system perfect, haha

    It is awful though that a man can spend so long in jail for crimes he didn't commit, and then they'll act like this. It must come as somewhat of a kick in the teeth to him.

    Personally, I think society has a terrible attitude towards men who have been arrested for rape. It seems as though as soon as a man is taken in for questioning, in people's eyes, he's a rapist, whether he's been convicted or not. Regardless of whether he's found guilty, people will whisper and make stupid comments like "You know, I always knew there was something a bit wrong about him", and if they're cleared its just the same - "There's no smoke without fire, just because they couldn't prove it doesn't mean it didn't happen" - for this reason I think that the details of people arrested for rape shouldn't be released at all until a guilty verdict has passed to improve the system, but that's a debate for another day. I bet this man will have to live being thought of as a rapist for the rest of his life.

    Sorry for going off-track.
    Really? I think the opposite is true. So few rapes end in convictions that juries clearly don't feel this way. There's a culture of expecting men to have been 'stitched up' or that women have led them on in some way that actually I don't think suspected rapists are presumed guilty at all. Statistically it seems like the opposite is happening to a dangerous degree.
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    It's pathetic and ridiculous that Virginian authorities are so opposed to being wrong that they won't free someone despite there being overwhelming evidence in the accused perpetrator's defence.
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    Punishments can be pretty heavy in America which is good...only the bit before that (catching the actual criminals) seems to suck.
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    The US justice system disgusts me at times. If everyone is supporting him, just bloody get on with it! Just because they might THINK he did the crimes, the evidence says otherwise, they have pretty much no right to keep him any longer!

    I think the worst thing is, even if he is exonerated of all crimes, he will still have been in prison for all those years, and no one will probably trust him anymore.

    A completely irrelevant point, feel free to ignore, but I ended up watching a program about horrible acts of violence last night for no apparent reason, and it made me really angry how utterly ridiculous America's gun laws are, and I am disturbed by their (obviously only some people's) obsession with guns. I don't even know why I'm typing this now. Please ignore it.
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    (Original post by JCC-MGS)
    Really? I think the opposite is true. So few rapes end in convictions that juries clearly don't feel this way. There's a culture of expecting men to have been 'stitched up' or that women have led them on in some way that actually I don't think suspected rapists are presumed guilty at all. Statistically it seems like the opposite is happening to a dangerous degree.
    The reason for this i think is that unfortunately for those that have been honestly raped, there are many women who cry wolf, thus lowering the credibility of other women....
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    (Original post by JCC-MGS)
    Really? I think the opposite is true. So few rapes end in convictions that juries clearly don't feel this way. There's a culture of expecting men to have been 'stitched up' or that women have led them on in some way that actually I don't think suspected rapists are presumed guilty at all. Statistically it seems like the opposite is happening to a dangerous degree.
    Oh, sorry, I wasn't thinking or talking about during the court process or juries' views, but how neighbourhoods of the arrested and the general public seem to react. To me, you can't assume that a man is guilty if he hasn't been found guilty in court, even given the court failure to convict many rapists, but many people seem to think that if they've been charged/arrested, it means that they're nearly definitely guilty - a view that's probably worsened by the fact that many people know that very few rape trials end in conviction. Just to clarify - I do think that's a terrible thing completely, and if the discussion was regarding the trial then I'd be thoroughly on the side of rape victims saying that jury cases shouldn't be used in rape cases and that the system needs to change. But looking at an innocent man tried with rape and found innocent - I just hate the assumption that he is guilty because he's been charged. It can ruin innocent people's lives.
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    (Original post by TheEssence)
    Read the full article: Man Cleared of Rape, but a Court Balks at Full Exoneration (NYT)


    Calling all those who claim the US Justice system is perfect! Despite the fact that they got it wrong they refuse to fully exonerate him..
    To call any justice system perfect, is folly. My guess is that if "Americans" were claiming our justice system to be perfect, it was in the context of defending the death penalty. It's hard to justify killing the convicted, if you acknowledge you may get it wrong. I'm not justifying the argument, I'm just speculating why someone would make such a ridiculous statement. Maybe they were just ignorant. We've got them, and so do you.

    It should be the first priority of all "imperfect" justice systems to ensure that the innocent go unpunished. It certainly appears as though we failed in this case. There is no excuse for not correcting a grievous injustice as quickly as possible. I'm not sure if the problem is some bureaucrat making sure every procedure is followed, or if it is something more sinister like an intentional stone wall. What ever the cause, it looks to me to be a human failure more than an American one.

    Yea I know it happened in Virginia. The Virginia State government is responsible. I'm just saying this kind of thing happens everywhere.
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    most judges would be expected to congratulate Mr. Haynesworth on his new life, perhaps with an apology as well
    Really?

    I'm not fully awake so maybe I'm confused but there seems to be a lot of holes in this article:confused: He was convicted of three rapes, but it turns out he didn't commit two of them. What about the 3rd one? And what is the circumstantial evidence?
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    Check out the journalist waving his penis at him - that girl is finding it so amusing
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    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    I think the complete opposite to what you said is true.
    You think the complete opposite of statistical fact is true? More power to you mate, but I think you're fighting a losing battle there.
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    DNA evidence is not 100% feasible evidence, its entirely possible he is still guilty and a lack of convicting evidence has allowed a rapist back onto the streets of America. Well done US justice system, you've allowed this vile man who is 'possibly' a rapist back out to mix with normal people.

    Are these lawyers mad? The evidence from all the cases is not even available. :facepalm:

    1 rape is sickening and inhumane so therefore this cannot be taken lightly in any way whatsoever.
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    Who on earth has called the US Justice system perfect? As an American myself for example, I certainly don't think it is.

    No justice system is perfect, including that of the UK; I was just reading about this the other day.

    Lesley Susan Molseed (14 August 1964 – 5 October 1975) was an eleven-year old girl from Turf Hill, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, who was murdered on Rishworth Moor in West Yorkshire.
    Stefan Ivan Kiszko (24 March 1952 – 23 December 1993), a 23-year-old local tax clerk of Ukrainian/Slovenian parentage, served 16 years in prison after he was wrongly convicted of her sexual assault and murder. His ordeal was described by one MP as "the worst miscarriage of justice of all time."

    After forensic evidence showed that he could not have committed the murder, Kiszko was scheduled for a hearing for potential release, but died shortly before. Ronald Castree was eventually found guilty of the crime on 12 November 2007
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    (Original post by jb9191)
    DNA evidence is not 100% feasible evidence, its entirely possible he is still guilty and a lack of convicting evidence has allowed a rapist back onto the streets of America. Well done US justice system, you've allowed this vile man who is 'possibly' a rapist back out to mix with normal people.
    You're right. We should lock every citizen up, as everyone is 'possibly' a rapist.

    Oh wait.

    See the problem with presumed guilt now?
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    (Original post by TheEssence)
    X
    Trust you to produce a blatantly fallacious article to prove whatever pathetic point you have :rolleyes:

    Here are the actual events;

    - In May 2011, Haynesworth received a public and personal apology from the Virginia AG.

    In a meeting at his Richmond office, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli personally apologized to Thomas Haynesworth on Tuesday, telling the man who was released from prison Monday after serving 27 years for a string of rapes and assaults that prosecutors now believe he did not commit that Virginia’s justice system had failed him.

    Cuccinelli (R) said he has closely reviewed every bit of evidence in Haynesworth’s case and has come to believe that the Richmond man did not commit any of the crimes of which he was accused — not two rapes in which DNA evidence has now implicated another man and not two others for which DNA evidence does not exist.
    - Haynesworth is due to have his writ of innocence process in the next few days, as a matter of procedure, as all involved (including Cuccinelli) believe he shall be exonerated; so much so that in fact that he is doing something unprecedented, in actually arguing on behalf of a defendant for a writ of actual innocence.

    Lawyers today will petition the Virginia Court of Appeals to issue writs of actual innocence to Thomas Haynesworth, a Richmond man who spent 27 years in prison for sex crimes prosecutors now believe, thanks to DNA evidence, were committed by another man.

    And one of the attorneys arguing for Haynesworth's exoneration will be Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general whose office is technically responsible for representing the state against a defendant.

    Cuccinelli has been a staunch advocate for full exoneration for Haynesworth, 46, who was paroled in March by Gov. Bob McDonnell after evidence demonstrated that he did not commit the crimes that sent him to state prison as an 18-year-old. The act of a Virginia attorney general arguing on behalf of a defendant for a writ of actual innocence is believed to be unprecedented.
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    (Original post by MapleBacon)
    Trust you to produce a blatantly fallacious article to prove whatever pathetic point you have :rolleyes:

    Here are the actual events;

    - In May 2011, Haynesworth received a public and personal apology from the Virginia AG.



    - Haynesworth is due to have his writ of innocence process in the next few days, as a matter of procedure, as all involved (including Cuccinelli) believe he shall be exonerated; so much so that in fact that he is doing something unprecedented, in actually arguing on behalf of a defendant for a writ of actual innocence.
    it's you again, mr americas judicial system is perfect !

    At the point in time had he been exonerated? no
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    Yeah Virginian police are not so good, and absolutely refuse to back down and be proved in the wrong.

    Point in case:
    http://reason.com/archives/2011/01/17/justice-for-sal

    It's pretty awful. Imagine that happening in the UK, the uproar it would cause. It's the most disproportionate force imaginable, considering he was lured into it as well.
 
 
 
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