An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, by Margaret Edds

By Margaret Edds

How is it attainable for an blameless guy to come back inside 9 days of execution? An Expendable guy solutions that question via targeted research of the case of Earl Washington Jr., a mentally retarded, black farm hand who used to be convicted of the 1983 rape and homicide of a 19-year-old mom of 3 in Culpeper, Virginia. He spent virtually 18 years in Virginia prisons—9 0.5 of them on dying row—for a homicide he didn't commit.This e-book unearths the relative ease with which people who reside at society's margins might be wrongfully convicted, and the extreme trouble of correcting the sort of mistaken as soon as it occurs.Washington used to be finally freed in February 2001 no longer end result of the criminal and judicial structures, yet despite them. whereas DNA trying out was once significant to his eventual pardon, such exams could by no means have happened with no an surprisingly proficient and devoted criminal staff and with no sequence of incidents which are top defined as natural luck.Margaret Edds makes the chilling argument that another “expendable males” possibly were much less lucky than Washington. This, she writes, is “the mystery, shameful underbelly” of America's retention of capital punishment. Such wrongful executions would possibly not ensue frequently, yet an individual who doubts that blameless humans were performed within the usa should still take into account the impressive sequence of occasions essential to retailer Earl Washington Jr. from any such destiny.

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Zeets said that, as the first to arrive, he found Mrs. Weeks lying “partially on the bed” and naked. But Jimmy Weeks recalled that his mother was on the floor when he discovered her. Because of her knee replacements, he said, she was unable to get up by herself. ” Out of that moment, those words, the misunderstandings and errors and deceptions that brought Washington to within nine days of execution emerged. 5 Confessions I N V E S T I G ATO R T E R RY S C H R U M did not plan to stay when he walked into the Fauquier County sheriff’s department that Saturday morning.

Once, he tried to intervene on his mother’s behalf. “I stepped in between ‘em. I got hit, but it didn’t hurt too bad,” he said. The investigator profiling the family for the Washington defense team reported, “The Washingtons have been visited several times over the past two years. ” But the farmer also noted, “They were not the kind of people who sat in the house and didn’t work. ” There are mixed reports from the Washington children about the degree to which they were disciplined for misbehavior, real or perceived.

Jimmy Weeks offered one detail not included in his mother’s testimony. ARREST 33 On the night of the assault, he said, Mrs. Weeks told his wife that Washington pulled her gown up to her head. As far as Jimmy Weeks knew, nothing else happened. Over the years, some observers have argued that Mrs. Weeks—an otherwise forthright witness—downplayed the extent of the encounter because of embarrassment. She could not have done so with the assurance that Washington was going to prison for another crime.

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