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No One Thinks This Man Is Guilty, Yet He Shockingly Can’t Get Out Of Jail

Posted in OMG
at 2016.02.11
With 0 Comments

In 1986, a man named Mike McAlister was arrested and convicted of attempted rape in Richmond, Virginia. However, the arresting officer believes he”s innocent. So does the current top prosecutor in the state, as well as the prosecutor at McAlister”s trial. With all this support, it seems baffling that McAlister, after all this time, is still in jail.

Mike McAlister during his arrest in 1986.

Mike McAlister during his arrest in 1986.

Why? Well, the Commonwealth of Virginia has a civil commitment law that allows the state to keep violent sex offenders in prison past their release dates, sometimes indefinitely. It”s a well-meaning law, meant to keep communities safe from these violent offenders. However, in cases like McAlister”s, it can wreak terrible havoc.

McAlister was picked out from a lineup by the victim, but what neither the victim nor the police knew was that a man who looked very similar to McAlister had been terrorizing South Richmond and attacking women at the same time. That man, Norman Bruce Derr, was spotted shortly before McAlister”s arrest at the very same place where McAlister was accused of attacking the victim. But no one told McAlister, the victim, or the police.

This is Norman Bruce Derr, believed to be the serial rapist.

This is Norman Bruce Derr, believed to be the serial rapist.

Because of their resemblance, McAlister was convicted of crimes that were most likely Derr”s.

When they arrested McAlister, the cops thought they”d finally nabbed the serial rapist preying on South Richmond. However, the attacks in Richmond continued after McAlister was imprisoned, and there was significant evidence pointing to Derr. Derr is currently serving multiple life sentences in Virginia for another rape he committed in 1988. Further DNA evidence also ties him to multiple other rapes, and has also exonerated a third man who was also wrongfully convicted.

(via Free Mike McAlister)

You”d think that with so much evidence pointing to his innocence, freeing McAlister would be simple. But it”s not. Thanks to a lot of legal issues, the judge considering his civil commitment can”t even take his guilt or innocence into consideration at his hearing. Does that sound like it makes no sense? Well, that”s because it doesn”t.

The only person who can free McAlister is Virginia”s governor, Terry McAuliffe. There is a request to pardon McAlister, which would erase the conviction from his record and free him from prison. This request was introduced in early April of this year. McAlister”s hearing is set for mid-May, but the petition is still crucial to secure McAlister”s freedom.

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