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Sunday, April 30, 2017

10 Years, 9 Virginia General Assemblies and at Least 5 More to Go


This coming Thursday is the 10th anniversary of where my life and my husband’s life took a drastic and unbelievable turn that would change us both forever.

And this coming October will be the 10th anniversary of a plea deal that he made with the Commonwealth that should allow for a court petition so that we could move on with our lives but that plea deal would be broken by the entire Virginia Legislature just 5 months later and then by Governor Tim Kaine with the retroactive application of 2008’s SB590. If a start date of July 1, 2008 had just been added to the Bill then the 2007 plea deal would still matter but because no start date was added the change in Virginia law was applied retroactively to everyone who qualifies, which is sadly only approximately 17% of the entire VSP Registry. The rest, 83% are “Lifers” with no opportunity to ever petition for removal. 

This means we are only 2/3’s the way through instead of nearing the expected finish line.  

So I’ve decided to share how the Virginia justice system not only failed us back in 2007 but is intentionally set-up to fail all innocent people. 

On May 4 2007, my husband and I were asked to assist the neighbor (a widow of 3 years) across the street in putting down their 14-year-old frail and deaf dog because the widow was not strong enough to do so, on her own. As we owned several dogs and cannot bear to see an animal suffer, we agreed to help her with this necessary task as a dog owner. 

The teenaged daughter (one month from turning 16 years old) of the dog's owner witnessed this discussion on her front porch and protested the planned euthanasia vehemently. 

One week later on May 11th, the day before the expected trip to the veterinarian, a Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputy and a County Investigator stood on my front porch. The Investigator who whisked my husband of 15 years (at that time) into his vehicle told him that the girl had accused him of touching her the week before inappropriately; he was questioned for more than 30 minutes. 

My husband was never alone with the girl, I was there the day the abuse supposedly occurred and so was the girl’s mother. No abuse occurred, no crime was committed. 

My husband and I could not believe this claim had been made and we were certain that nothing could or would come of it. That’ evidence would be needed to corroborate her tall tale, that everyone is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, we were very, very wrong.