(January 2003, Virginia) Paul Powell is not yet out of the gene pool but he will be soon, thanks to his own efforts to enable prosecutors to prove a capital murder charge against him. He had been tried and convicted of the murder of a 16-year-old girl, but his conviction was overturned by the State Appellate Court based on a lack of evidence that he had robbed or raped the woman.
However, due process was not yet done with Powell.
Thinking himself immune to further consequences, Powell wrote a gloating confession and sent it to the prosecutor's office. "Since the Virginia Supreme Court said that I can't be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on January 29, 1999, to show you how stupid y'all are." He went on to explain in graphic detail exactly what had happened on the night he murdered the girl.
But Powell did not have the last laugh.
He overlooked a catch. The Court had only ruled that there was not enough evidence for the capital murder conviction, leaving open the possibility of a retrial for lesser charges, or for capital murder should new information surface. The second time around, Powell's boastful letter gave the prosecutors precisely the evidence they needed.
Powell's lawyer "portrayed his client as a bright young man." Bright as a burned-out light bulb! Powell was convicted of capital murder on January 15, 2003.
More information on Powell (Scroll halfway down.)
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Submitted by: Kevin Costello, George Dinwiddie, Joe Gordon, Kevin Costello, Kim
Reference: Associated Press, Independent Online