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July 30, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

The 1909 Buckingham Murders: Part XVIII

18_Murder_Technicality

 

Dallas Wright’s Appeal Denied on Technicality

Months dragged on. Autumn turned into winter once again. Edward Jones and Richard Perkins, who had been granted new trials in Richmond, were moved to Richmond’s City Jail where they waited until June of 1911.

Dallas Wright, now held in an Henrico County jail, had little reason to be optimistic. The request for his change of venue and new trial was denied on a technicality. His attorneys had failed to file their petition within the time allotted. Wright, who was sentenced to death for the murders of the Stewart brothers, awaited execution while Edward Jones and Richard Perkins were granted trials in Richmond’s Hustings Court.

Given the tenor of the times, this was an uncomfortable situation. Two black men were afforded new trials while the white man in the case was sentenced to death. According to the January 13, 1911 edition of The Times-Dispatch:

In view of this unique condition of affairs, Judge George M. Harrison, voicing the opinion of the court, says that tribunal deeply regrets that it is not in [a] position to give the same measure of relief to Wright that it grants to the negroes. . . .

This will almost undoubtedly be followed by an appeal to Governor Mann for at least a stay of execution pending the retrial of the cases against the alleged accomplices. Inasmuch as the evidence is the same, the presumption is that the result of the coming trials will determine Wright’s fate, unless the Governor should see fit to interfere in all three instances.

This is precisely what happened. Governor Mann granted Wright a stay of execution until Richard Perkins and Edward Jones were tried and sentenced. Since the evidence applied to all three men equally, the Governor stated that Wright’s sentence would be identical to the decision for Perkins and Jones.

Coming Next: A New Trial for Jones and Perkins

Need to catch up on The 1909 Buckingham Murders? Part I: June 1, 2015

 

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. marianhook / Jul 30 2015 12:16 pm

    Whew! I was afraid he was a goner!

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 30 2015 3:31 pm

      There’s more to come!

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