Bennett Barbour Case

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Bennett Barbour was a 22-year-old handyman that was falsely accused of rape to a 19-year-old college student from the College of William and Mary in 1978. The victim was raped while the assailant had a gun to commit a crime, after the incident, the victim called the police and described the rapist as a 145 pound 5’6” tall man (Barbour, 2012). A week later the victim was at a police station and shown different pictures of the person she thought assaulted her, she pointed-out Barbour’s picture and again during two lineups. After, he was arrested and sent to trial. Barbour weighed 115 pounds had a brittle bone disease and had a pin in his elbow, making it impossible to rape anyone (Barbour, 2012). Barbour had his hair and blood sample were taken, …show more content…

On April 14, 1978, Barbour was convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Detectives reported even though they could not find anything to make Barbour guilty, they still had doubts and would continue to investigate him (Barbour, 2012). In 2001 the Virginia Department of Forensic Science released information about serologist who examine blood type and physical evidence from the year 1973 through 1988 kept the samples in those years (Barbour, 2012) . In 2004 Virginia’s Governor, Mark Warner ordered 800 cases to be retested this project. The project was scheduled to take 18 months but took 7 years. After the state repeatedly rejected the Freedom of Information Act from the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and Richmond Times-Dispatch, the state of Virginia agreed to give half of the list of DNAs to Jonathan Sheldon, a volunteer attorney (Barbour, 2012). Barbour found out his evidence from the cases, and the lab results were available when Sheldon informed him about it in 2012. Barbour found help from the University of Virginia School of Law’s Innocence Project, which they represented him. During the investigation, they found out that the lab was exonerating results in June 2010 but never informed Barbour until Sheldon did in 2012 (Barbour,

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