Judge who saved Earl Washington dies

Lloyd Sullenberger, the judge who, in 1985, stayed the execution of convicted-but-later-proven-innocent Earl Washington, has died.

Read more on: earl washington

12 comments

The previous Hook story about this highlights the need for change in our police practices. Recently heard about the case of Marvin Anderson at the UVA Law School Forum highlighting the work of the Innocence Project. Anderson was sentenced to 210 years and held for 15 for a crime he didn't commit.
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/49.php

He, like Earl Washington, was exonerated with the help of the Innocence Project using DNA evidence. One has to wonder how many other innocent people are in our jails ? When will we demand taped confessions ?

from the Hook article linked above:

ââ?¬Å?They were all wrong,” said lead counsel Peter Neufeld (shown above at right in the photo with Washington) of the investigation. Neufeld, co-founder (along with O.J. trial vet Barry Scheck) of the renowned DNA-favoring legal clinic called the Innocence Project is now calling on Virginia to ensure that all future confessions are tape recorded. Then, if questions arise, Neufeld says, ââ?¬Å?All an officer needs to do is press the play button.”

Since the article doesn't mention his name, I'll do so below. He will be greatly missed by many.

Lloyd C. Sullenberger dies
Posted: 02/20/2009

Retired judge who granted Earl Washington's stay of execution dies at 68

The retired judge who in 1985 granted a stay of execution that bought time for mentally disabled convicted murderer-rapist Earl Washington Jr. to be exonerated has died at 68.

Lloyd Coleman Sullenberger, a justice from 1984 to 2000 of the 16th Judicial Circuit, which covers Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Louisa, Madison and Orange, died Wednesday, apparently of a heart attack, in a Charlottesville hospital.

The Orange resident, who retired from the bench March 14, 2000, will be honored at a memorial service Saturday at 2 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Orange, where he had served on the vestry.

The Earl Washington case involved a man with an IQ of 69 who was picked up by police on an unrelated charge and during interrogation confessed that he raped and killed Rebecca Lynn Williams in Culpeper on June 4, 1982.

I agree all confessions should be taped, and they should all have a lawyer present, and all bullets that are evidence of murders or accidental deaths should be taken out of the bodies of the dead and the public should have the right to know what gun the bullet was shot from rather than just assume it was from the convicted person's gun. A few years back I read of a case where a man was shot and then another man shot the man who supposedly shot the first man, but the bullets were never recovered and it was just assumed the second man did the right thing. We need to better scrutinize these cases.

Really... would it have hurt to add a single sentence about the man, or as Reality points out, to even include his name? He was a thoughtful and kind man who will genuinely be missed by all who knew him.

No offense intended, folks. I've now added his name. If I knew more about him, I might add it. Just trying to give props to someone who stepped in to begin to right a wrong.

And righting a wrong is exactly what Judge Sullenberger did. He, like many other judges, have come to realize that the credibility of a cop is no better than the average law abiding citizen nowadays. It never should have been in the first place now that we see all of these innocent people being set free after serving 15 to 20 years behind bars. The average person can't even begin to comprehend the mental anguish of sitting in jail for 15 to 20 years knowing all along that you are innocent of the crime you were convicted of.

Sick, I think you should blow the whistle on that cop you mentioned that keeps bringing lawsuits to the county...

knowledge is power!

Thanks, Hawes. No criticism implied in my comment, just wanted to add his obit. A truly good man.

Condolences to Page, Sarah, Dorothy, Paul, Rhew and Avery.

No way! I live to see if a few of his next moves in dealing wih the public tops all the other stupid things he has already done. The poor guy is dumb as a rock! :)

For some reason I saw that coming! :)
did you retire from police work or just leave if you don't mind me asking

Insightful, thanx :)

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