So, is the AP or the Richmond Times-Dispatch responsible for this error?

Paper: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Headline: DNA clears Va. man convicted of firearm felony. (Link)

The relevant sections of the story:

A man who was convicted of felony firearm possession has become the first person exonerated under a 2004 Virginia law allowing prisoners to present new, non-DNA evidence of their innocence.

The Virginia Court of Appeals granted Darrell Andrew Copeland’s writ of actual innocence Tuesday.

The attorney general’s office supported Copeland’s petition after lab tests showed that the weapon he had when he was arrested in Chesapeake last year was a “gas gun” that does not fit the definition of a firearm under state law.


AP-ES-08-12-08 1221EDT

(I believe that’s an AP date stamp at the bottom but it might not be.)

The petition had nothing to do with DNA — despite what the headline of the story says.

The petition was based on whether the gun was actually a firearm under state law. It wasn’t.

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