In a story the New York
Times describes as "steeped in racism," a Virginia man convicted
of a 1982 rape has become the 99th convicted felon in the country to be cleared
by DNA with the aid of biological evidence found at the crime scene. According
to published reports, the original investigation reportedly will be reopened.
Trucker Marvin Lamont
Anderson was 18 when a white Hanover County woman was abducted from a wooded
area and sexually assaulted by a black man. Sheriff's deputies focused on
him in part because the assailant talked about having a white girlfriend and
Anderson, who is black, was dating a white woman.
Anderson was picked out
of a lineup by the victim and subsequently convicted by an all-white jury
and sentenced to 210 years in prison based on the testimony from the victim.
He served 15 years before he was paroled in 1997.
At an evidentiary hearing
during a 1988 appeal, another man confessed to the crime. But the original
judge in the case ruled that the man, who had been linked to a bicycle seen
in the area the day of the crime, wasn't credible.
Anderson, now married
with an 18-month-old child, plans to seek a full pardon from Gov. Jim Gilmore,
according to the Washington Post. He would otherwise be under state supervision
for the rest of his life.
Anderson is looking forward
to life without a parole officer, and, as an avid hunter, wants to regain
his right to own a gun. "I've been blessed in ways that most people can't
realize," Anderson told the Post. "All I ever wanted was the chance
to show my innocence, and I got that. The whole world will know now that I
was telling the truth."