May 4, 2006
He spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit and tonight Earl Washington Jr. is closer to getting answers that he's been looking for.
Closing arguments finished up late this evening and the jury picked a foreman but decided to go home and start deliberating with fresh minds in the morning.
Washington is suing the estate of the police investigator he claims is responsible for his false confession to the 1982 rape and murder of a Culpeper woman. The confession led to his conviction and he spent 10 years on death row, until DNA exonerated him. He was nine days away from the electric chair and now he wants the man he believes is responsible for his wrongful conviction to pay.
The defense wants the jury to remember this isn't a case about the death penalty, or about whether the system failed Earl Washington, but only whether the investigator fabricated evidence that led to Washington’s conviction.
The jury will begin deliberating tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.