Tuesday, 7 October 2008

What I'm Watching: Deceiving Innocence

In 1992 issues of Time were still dropping through my parents' letterbox, as the subscription my recently deceaed Grandmother had taken out was still active. On the cover of one issue was a man in chains and the grim headline: "This man might be innocent. This man is due to die." And so I was introduced to the story of Roger Coleman.

Despite a mass media campaign and apparent doubts about the case Coleman went to Virginia's electric chair on the 20th May 1992, declaring his innocence right to the end. For people who don't agree with capital punishment - myself included - his story was a cause, a reason to show that innocent people can be executed by flawed human beings.

There was one small problem with that. In 2006, nearly 14 years after his execution and 25 years after the murder of Wanda McCoy, DNA evidence showed that Coleman was the killer. Or if you're really sceptical the chances were 1:19,000,000 that someone else did it.

This Friday on the Crime and Investigation Channel (that's channel 553 if you have a Sky dish) they are showing a documentary called Deceiving Innocence which looks into Coleman's case and quite why so many people felt - wrongly - that Coleman was innocent. I think it is going to be pretty interesting.

Deceiving Innocence is being shown at 4pm on 10th October 2008 on the Crime and Investigation Channel.

Roger Coleman - Time Cover [TIME]
Roger Keith Coleman [Wikipedia]
Crime and Investigation Channel [Official Website]

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