The following guest post was written by Albert Monroe, Convenor of the Northern Virginia chapter of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP).
This Monday, July 11th, at
9 PM, the Commonwealth of Virginia is scheduled to execute Robin Lovitt.
We think that Robin Lovitt is innocent, but we will never know because
the evidence from his trial has been destroyed, in violation of Virginia
law. Please help save Robin Lovitt’s life!
Robin Lovitt was convicted based on DNA evidence that has now been destroyed. The only witness to clearly identify Lovitt as the attacker was a jailhouse snitch. At his trial, prosecutors claimed that DNA test results showed that the victim’s blood was on the murder weapon and that Robin Lovitt’s sweat was left on the murder weapon. In fact, the only identifying allele was one that is common to 35% of the male African-American population, including Robin Lovitt. None of the blood found on Robin Lovitt’s jacket matched the victim, which would be expected if he were the actual murderer.
The use of current DNA techniques would likely exonerate Robin Lovitt, as in the case of Earl Washington, the only exoneree from Virginia’s death row. But we’ll never know because the evidence has been destroyed. The only person that can stop the execution of Robin is the Governor. The Governor’s intervention would save an innocent man and maintain confidence that no innocent person is ever put to death in the Commonwealth.
We can stop the execution of Robin Lovitt, but we must pressure the Governor to do the right thing and commute his death sentence. Contact Governor Warner to ask him for a commutation of Robin Lovitt’s death sentence. His contact information is:
Gov. Mark R. Warner
State Capitol, 3rd Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 786-2211 Fax: (804) 371-6351
TTY/TDD (For the Hearing Impaired): (804) 371-8015
To send an electronic email message to the governor click below:
Also, if you want to write a letter to
the editor to the Washington Post, you can write them at [email protected]<. If you wish to contact the Metro editor, Bob Barnes, write
him at [email protected]. Don't send an attachment, but instead write
a heartfelt letter and include info about the case at the bottom of
the letter. You can also contact Michael
Shearof the Washington Post's Richmond
Bureau ([email protected]<); he's covered death penalty issues in the past.
Also, contact other daily papers around the state. The entire Commonwealth
of Virginia needs to know that the Commonwealth is about to execute
an innocent man. More information about the case can be found at http://www.vadp.org/action.htm. To join our e-mail list and get more information
about how to fight this and future executions, write the group at [email protected] or me personally at [email protected].
The Northern Virginia chapter of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP-NOVA) will hold an execution vigil for Robin Lovitt at 8:30 PM at Courthouse Metro station in Arlington. If by some chance Robin Lovitt is not executed, we will still meet at the Metro stop and go somewhere to meet and celebrate the commutation.
If you are outside of Northern Virginia, there will be an execution vigil at the same time (8:30 PM, Monday July 11th) at the execution site at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, VA.