The Corruption of the Virginia Judicial System

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Account of Akili Abdullah

The judicial system in Virginia is so crooked and flawed you literally have to plead to 30-plus years or more to avoid life without the possibility of parole. When it comes to getting wrongful convictions, no matter where you are in Virginia, the grand jury, the white judges, the detectives, and the prosecution are all in cahoots against the black man sitting in front of them. They are fabricating statements & testimonies, planting evidence, destroying evidence, lying under oath, intimidating and coercing witnesses. I’m not trying to turn this into a race thing but this is what goes on in Virginia and their main target is the black man. Where is this stemming from, and why am I saying such things? For one, I am tired of being a victim of racial profiling. For two, I’m witnessing white men receiving slaps on the wrist for the same crime a white jury and judge gave a Black man life for.

In Virginia, if you are a Black man, you are guilty until proven innocent, which is almost impossible to prove because if you don’t have a paid attorney, they will purposely appoint you an attorney that is guaranteed to sell you out. Ninety-nine percent of the time if you are a Black man, you’re going to end up in front of a white judge. Whether you are in the right or wrong, that is guaranteed to judge in the prosecutor’s favor, no matter what case they’re judging at the time.

The laws only apply when they’re being used to benefit them in some way. The law says the prosecution MUST prove every element of an offense in order for a conviction to be valid. Not one, not two, but every element. However, in Virginia, the prosecution does not prove any of the elements. In my case, the prosecution failed to prove any of the elements for 14 felonies. I know a lot of people say this, but I am wrongfully convicted. The evidence presented proved it. The record proved it. The incredible witnesses proved it. I’ve been incarcerated since August 9, 2007. For some other crimes I was wrongfully convicted of, they were dismissed after my case was overturned in 2009 due to a lack of evidence. On April 14, 2009, my case was overturned. On April 15, 2009, before I could get home, the same prosecutor that played a major role in the overturned conviction indicted me with 14 felonies. There was no physical evidence. The prosecution knowingly and intentionally used incredible witnesses with false and fabricated testimonies. The prosecution tainted the minds of the jurors with inaccurate information. The key witnesses exonerated me before I was ever indicted.

The crimes allegedly took place on July 27, 2007, but I was not indicted until April 15, 2009. August 13, 2009, I was found guilty of all 14 felonies. The same day the jury recommended 303 years because I waived my rights to a pre-sentence report out of anger. The crooked White judge sentenced me to 303 years for crimes I did not commit. As I write, she is under investigation for unethical practices. I don’t know if it was because I was a Black gang member at the time. Every time the prosecution made an objection or presented, she ruled in favor of the prosecution. I had ineffective assistance during the trial and the appeal process.

The Mid Atlantic Innocence project currently has my case but I need more light shined upon my case. Currently, I’ve been incarcerated for 16 years. Well August 9, 2023, will be 16 full years but for my 14 felonies I’ve only been incarcerated for 14 years. I’ve been incarcerated since I was 23 years old.


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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