Tuesday, May 24, 2005

May 17, 2005

Dear Sis,

No yard again. This is becoming a regular thing; yard is being cancelled all week long (for the last 3 or 4 weeks now) so they can "work on the yard fences", but they never do any work. For the past month we've only been going out one day per week, on Sundays. Anyway, instead we had cell clean up and haircuts. I got my hair cut (I keep it pretty short) and then a shower, so I'm feeling pretty good. When you can only shower 3 times a week, every shower is something to look forward to. Our "barbers" here are two fellow death row prisoners, only one of whom, Rob Lovitt, actually knows how to cut hair. Rob's a good barber & I always get him to cut my hair. Unfortunately, unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, Rob will be executed very soon, probably within 90 days. Rob's case is an interesting one. He was convicted in a more or less run-of-the-mill murder (a store owner stabbed to death in an apparent robbery attempt) on circumstantial evidence that was underwhelming to say the least. I don't know if Lovitt is guilty (he's consistently professed his innocence during the 5 years I've known him) but I know his legal issues are substantial. Immediately following his conviction (based primarily upon the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, a "professional witness" who claimed Rob "confessed" to him in jail) the clerk of the trial court, in direct violation of a specific state law on the subject, and against the specific advice of two other clerks, destroyed all of the evidence in the case. This included DNA evidence (bloodstained evidence) which the defense had challenged and wanted to have independently tested. (The Virginia State Crime Lab has a documented history of rendering false DNA results. Just within the last few weeks the FBI finally established that the lab's false DNA test results had erroneously sent Earl Washington to death row. Washington, after 15 years in prison, was finally exonerated). Anyway, the destruction of all the evidence has denied Rob the ability to possibly discover that some of his evidence was/is exculpatory. As you know, many of the wrongly convicted end up proving their innocence because they were able to (often many years later) have evidence re-tested or re-examined. You'd think that the State's deliberate destruction of all of the evidence, which was done on orders from the prosecutor and which destruction violated State law, would entitle someone to a new trial. But, so far the Courts have denied Rob any relief, essentially telling him "sorry, but too bad." Now, Rob is represented by Kenneth Starr (yes, that Ken Starr) who is passionately arguing his case. It's now in front of the U.S Supreme Court. Virginia will be signing Rob's death warrant very soon; they consistently don't even wait to see if the U.S Supreme Court is going to grant certiorari review. They are very eager to execute people in this commonwealth...

That's it for now, Sis. Keep your chin up and keep smiling!

Love & Peace,


Kel said...

Well yours sure is a blog with a difference.. thats for sure! I am amazed.. you have no comments as of yet also. my blog is at if u wanna drop by you can contact me though that if you wish. I have read your story and feel it very unfortuate. I hope you can find some peace and happyness.

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