Va. Sheriff Seeks to Curb Wrongful Convictions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia sheriff is promoting the creation of a commission to ensure the innocent aren't wrongfully convicted.

The idea is being floated by Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. "Chip" Harding. The Richmond Times-Dispatch ( ) reports that he has written to 123 sheriffs and 247 police chiefs about creating a government-backed commission to help prevent wrongful commissions.

Harding helped clear a man who wrongfully convicted of a 1996 capital murder in Culpeper.

Harding says he has been swayed by research into the causes of wrongful convictions. They include focusing on one suspect to the exclusion of others or error-prone lineup procedures.

The proposal has been welcomed by law enforcement leaders, but they say they want to hear more.
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