A Charles City area man exonerated in May of a 1978 wrongful rape conviction was excited to cast his first ballot in the presidential election Tuesday, but it took a bit of effort by some state officials along with many other supporters before that happened.
Fifty-seven-year-old Bennett Barbour thought he was eligible to vote when the Virginia Supreme Court exonerated him and he got a voter id card, but he had some less-serious felony convictions according to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In Virginia, like 10 other states, felons still need to get voting rights restored by the governor when completing their sentences. The governor was willing, but there was another obstacle.
He went on to uncover he owed nearly $1100 in unpaid court costs along with some outstanding DMV fees. After a fundraising effort at the University of Virginia School of Law Innocence Project along with volunteers, the group raised $2,000 by Sunday night to clear the way for Barbour to cast his ballot.
Barbour was exonerated of the 1978 rape after DNA test showed the DNA of another man present, not Barbour. The other man was convicted of another 1978 rape in a nearby area. Barbour was released in the early 80s.
If you are facing criminal charges, call us today. It is best to discuss your individual case with a qualified, experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney.