"’That’s to the point of absurdity that anybody would think that’ a campaign contribution would affect the way a case is handled."

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Wife may request outside jury for her retrial:

An attorney for Donna L. Blanton appears to be laying the groundwork to ask that a jury from outside Caroline County hear her retrial for the slaying of her husband.

Defense attorney Mark Murphy requested subpoenas be issued to about 25 television stations and newspapers, including The Times-Dispatch. The subpoenas seek copies of articles and broadcasts about the case, a common precursor to trying to persuade a judge that extensive publicity would make it difficult to seat a jury from within the locality where a crime occurred.

Murphy declined to say yesterday whether he plans to file a motion seeking either to move Blanton’s upcoming trial from Caroline or to bring in jurors from outside the county.

Donna Blanton, 42, is scheduled to be tried again starting Nov. 29 in Caroline Circuit Court for the October 2003 slaying of Virginia State Police 1st Sgt. Taylor V. Blanton.

Blanton was convicted of first-degree murder in 2005 and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. But the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled in April that gender wrongly played a role in how Caroline Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Latney Jr. selected potential jurors.

Blanton, who did not testify during her trial, maintained that an unidentified man broke into the couple’s home, shot her husband in bed and fled.

She is being held at the Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover County.

Interesting that Mark Murphy has already contributed $1,500 to Harvey Latney’s campaign fund.

I’m absolutely certain he wasn’t thinking he would get special treatment…

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