Written by Alison Hymes
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Wednesday, 27 June 2007

image for Virginia's Governor and Attorney General Disturbed by 3% Acquittal Rate

Virginia's Governor Tim Kaine (Dem.) and Attorney General Bob McDonnell (Rep.) issued a rare joint statement today expressing concern over what they perceive as an alarmingly high rate of acquittal of persons charged with crimes in Virginia's courts of law.

Governor Kaine said: "It is far too hard to get a conviction in Virginia, a 3% acquittal rate means that innocent, potentially dangerous people are not being sent to prison where they belong."

Attorney General McDonnell concurred, saying: "We may incarcerate a higher percentage of our citizens in jails and prisons than any other state in the U.S., but that's not good enough for me. I will not rest until every criminal trial ends in a conviction and a prison sentence."

Predictably, trial lawyers and the ACLU protested that the Governor and the Attorney General were over reacting and that people had a right to a fair trial. But a prominent University of Virginia Law Professor agreed with the Governor and Attorney General, saying: "What is this innocent until proven guilty of which you speak?"

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