innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Friday, December 30, 2005

"There Are Other Innocent People In Prison"

In Virginia, cases that involved serology--a technique that determined blood groupings in criminal cases and tried to either eliminate or exclude suspects according to blood type--are being re-evaluated.

According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, the 1.4 million dollar project taking place in Henrico County was established to re-evaluate past cases over the next year and a half and exonerate those who have been wrongly convicted.

So far, five men have been cleared of the crimes they have been convicted of, and there are at least 300 more cases that are yet to be re-evaluated.

The serologist, Mary Burton handled all five cases and two others in which men have been exonerated.

The fault may not lie in Burton's work, but with serology itself. The science is more primitive than current DNA testing, and can only pin down blood type. Burton's unique habit of preserving evidence after a case has been closed has enabled a re-evaluation of her work.

Click here for more on Mary Burton.

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