“It’s another DNA exoneration out of Virginia, which goes to show that unfortunately there have been far more errors than people realize.” – Shawn Ambrust, MAIP Executive Director
On March 8, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court exonerated MAIP client Garry Diamond when it granted his petition for Writ of Actual Innocence. Diamond, who was sentenced to 15 years for an abduction he did not commit, was the fourth man and third MAIP client to win a Writ of Actual Innocence in a DNA case in Virginia.
In 1997, Diamond was convicted of abducting a woman and her two young children from an I-95 rest stop before dawn. The woman’s description of her attacker did not match Diamond, and when her three-year-old son pointed him out in a photo array, she expressly denied it was him.
However, after seeing his picture two to four more times, she identified him at another hearing. The rape charge was dropped, but he was convicted of abduction with intent to defile in a bench trial based on his identification and the testimony of a serologist regarding the victim’s pants.
Diamond’s case came to MAIP as part of the Virginia Old Case Tasting Project. When the DNA test results from old biological evidence was compared with Diamond’s DNA, he was excluded as the perpetrator.
Diamond had already served his sentence but was thrilled to finally clear his name.
More about this case: