Plead you’re guilty and then get off death row? I’m confused. I came across this tidbit of an article about Edward Lee Elmore. A man who was imprisoned thirty years ago for the stabbing death of Dorothy Edwards.
An attorney for Elmore says he is innocent, but he pleaded guilty because he wants to be released from prison.
That’s where they lost me. A little more background anyone?
Elmore was the longest inhabitant of South Carolina’s death row (wow). The 75-year-old widow he was accused of raping, and stabbing 52 times, Dorthy Edwards was his employer. (He was a handyman on her property.) In recent years Circuit Judge Mark Hayes wrote in a 22-page order that the 50 + year-old Edward Lee Elmore could not be executed, because he was mentally handicapped. He should instead be sentenced to life in prison.
After being found guilty by two juries, he still maintained his innocence. Even after DNA evidence brought in new evidence over a decade ago that verified that the hairs “found under Mrs. Edwards’s fingernails were from a Caucasian”.
It’s not until a claim of him being “retarded”, and he just goes ahead and says he’s guilty, that he’s fiiiiinally released.
Wow. Wow in a bad way.
- After three decades on death row, US man might go free (independent.co.uk)
- Elmore Wins Ineffective Counsel Appeal After 29 Years in Prison (blogs.findlaw.com)