Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty met outside of Fairfax Station on Saturday evening to support Justin Wolfe, a “capital-murder” defendant whose release has been delayed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
The anti-death penalty group protested outside a fundraiser being held for Cuccinelli. So while Wolfe remains in prison, Cuccinelli is hob-knobbing among Virginia’s elite for his political future.
Wolfe’s release was ordered by District Court Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk because Jackson claimed the commonwealth’s prosecution of Wolfe was irrevocably impaired by the misconduct of prosecutors’ who allegedly coerced a key witnesses’ testimony and withheld evidence that could have assisted Wolfe.
Following Jackson’s decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay requested by Cuccinelli to delay Wolfe’s release.
The stay on Justin Wolfe’s release makes this the second high-profile ‘leave ‘em in prison’ case for the gubernatorial candidate. The first case involved wrongfully convicted Johnathan Montgomery whose immediate release was stopped by Cuccinelli on legal procedural grounds.
Regardless of the legal merit of Cuccinelli’s actions in these two cases, there are more than a few Virginians who have taken issue with the idea that wrongfully convicted individuals should be held in prison after their release has been ordered.
For all of Cuccinelli’s tea party-flavored (no pun intended!) rhetoric, he wields of the power of the attorney general’s office like a dungeon-master would a dungeon, leaving all those in who enter.
Karma, however, has a funny way of working itself out and Cuccinelli may find that his political ambitions will be blunted by Virginians who hold the power over his political future.