On May 31, 1984, six inmates facing the Virginia electric chair made a daring escape from death row. The inmates included two of the Briley Brothers, Linwood and James, along with Lem Tuggle, Earl Clanton, Derick Peterson, and Willie Jones. The escape was made possible by the inmates’ ability to access tools and materials that were stored in the prison’s maintenance shed.
The inmates used the tools to cut through the bars of their cells and gain access to the maintenance shed. From there, they were able to make their way to the prison’s roof and escape over the prison walls. The inmates were able to evade the prison guards and make their way to freedom.
The escape sparked a massive manhunt, with the Virginia State Police and local law enforcement agencies searching for the fugitives. The search went on for weeks, with the police receiving numerous tips from the public. However, the fugitives managed to elude capture for several months.
The Briley Brothers were eventually apprehended in October of 1984. They were apprehended in Maryland, after a tip from a local resident. The other four inmates were apprehended in December of 1984, after a tip from a local resident in West Virginia.
The escape from death row was a major embarrassment for the Virginia Department of Corrections. The department was criticized for its lax security measures, which allowed the inmates to access the tools and materials necessary for their escape. The department was also criticized for its failure to detect the escape in a timely manner.
The escape also sparked a debate about the death penalty in Virginia. Many people argued that the escape was a sign that the death penalty was not a deterrent to crime. Others argued that the death penalty was still necessary to deter violent crime.
The escape from death row also had a lasting impact on the inmates who escaped. The Briley Brothers were eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The other four inmates were convicted of various crimes and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
The escape from death row in 1984 was a major event in Virginia’s criminal justice system. It highlighted the need for improved security measures in prisons and sparked a debate about the death penalty. The escape also had a lasting impact on the inmates who escaped, as they were all eventually convicted of various crimes and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.