By Margaret Edds
How is it attainable for an blameless guy to come back inside of 9 days of execution? An Expendable guy solutions that query via certain 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 nearly 18 years in Virginia prisons—9 0.5 of them on dying row—for a homicide he didn't commit.This publication finds the relative ease with which people who dwell at society's margins may be wrongfully convicted, and the extreme hassle of correcting the sort of flawed as soon as it occurs.Washington used to be ultimately freed in February 2001 no longer end result of the criminal and judicial structures, yet despite them. whereas DNA checking out was once imperative to his eventual pardon, such checks could by no means have happened with out an surprisingly proficient and dedicated felony group and with out a sequence of incidents which are top defined as natural luck.Margaret Edds makes the chilling argument that another “expendable males” potentially 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 take place usually, yet an individual who doubts that blameless humans were carried out within the usa may still have in mind the striking sequence of occasions essential to shop Earl Washington Jr. from this sort of destiny.
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Additional resources for An Expendable Man: The Near-Execution of Earl Washington, Jr.
Blackwell Estate, the former slaves won the right to remain on the inherited Fauquier County land. 11 The Washington in the lawsuit was Eli Washington, one of the freed slaves. Whether there is a familial link with the family of Earl Washington is unknown. While Armistead and Elizabeth Blackwell were ahead of their time, most of the white residents of Fauquier and Culpeper counties were deeply invested in the Southern milieu, an attraction that extended well into the twentieth century. During the Civil War, the region became a crossroads for Yankee and Confederate troops, and the white sons and daughters of the Piedmont lamented the Northern invasion of their land and culture.
Was referred to a school psychologist for the ﬁrst time. The referral form noted, “Earl is very retiring—tries hard to melt into the background. He never volunteers any information. . He can do a little addition. . ” At the conclusion of second grade, the teacher’s report was no more positive: “Slow—does not use time wisely—does not concentrate or [sic] to have an inquiring attitude . . works very slowly and at times seemed to show enthusiasm over being able to read. ” His report card listed Fs in reading and arithmetic and Cs in citizenship and physical education.
Weeks spent several days in the hospital, after which she continued to live alone. She sustained no long-term physical injuries, but her son believes that her spirit was permanently wounded. “She was always jovial and after that, she didn’t laugh much anymore,” he said, describing the episode as the most painful experience of his life. According to police accounts and Washington’s recorded statement on the morning of his arrest, the ﬁght that precipitated the break-in at Mrs. Weeks’s involved an altercation with Robert over a woman.