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Friday, July 15, 2005

July 11, 2005 Monday evening

Dear Sis~
Just a quick note. It was 5:00p.m., just 4 hours before Rob's scheduled 9:00p.m. execution tonight when I heard on the news that the US Supreme Court had granted Rob a last-minute stay of execution. According to the newscaster, who was much less than clear (I don't think he knew very much)the Supreme Court granted the stay "without comment", ordering the stay to remain in effect until the Court's next term begins in October (the Court is out of session from July to early October; they always reconvene on the first Monday of October). Anyway, apparently the stay was based upon the current investigation of the Virginia Crime Lab (specifically the section dealing with DNA testing & analysis) which has been ordered by the Governor, after an earlier audit revealed false & fabricated DNA test results; at least one guy, Earl Washington, went to death row based upon such fabricated test results. Earl is now free, after some 18 years in prison (about 10+ years on the row) after being exonerated several years ago. You may recall that the State destroyed all of the evidence in Rob's case, which prevented him from challenging and/or testing the crime lab's results used against him at the trial. Until I speak with Rob, I won't know the precise reasons for the stay. But something is up with his case, and for now he's been given a new lease on life. They brought Rob back about an hour ago & I watched him shuffle up the long sidewalk leading to our cellblock, the same sidewalk I watched him shuffle down 4 days ago. Rob is now numbered among the very few who have ever returned from Greensville. I hope it's a good omen for him, and others.

I'm going to hit the hay, Sis, so I'll wrap this up and post it. Today has been a good day...(the Space Shuttle launches Wednesday! I've seen them launch in person; it's an awesome sight & experience).

Love & Peace
Bill

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