September 07, 2012 – 2:11 PM | via Richmond Times-Dispatch

Va. won’t appeal decision vacating death sentence
By LARRY O’DELL | Associated Press

The Virginia attorney general’s office said today it will not appeal a court’s ruling exonerating a death row inmate convicted of hiring another man to kill his marijuana supplier.

Justin Michael Wolfe was sentenced to death for the 2001 slaying of Daniel Petrole Jr. in a case that exposed a multimillion-dollar drug ring run by young people barely out of high school in the affluent northern Virginia suburbs. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month upheld a judge’s decision vacating the 31-year-old’s conviction and sentence because prosecutors withheld evidence that would have discredited their star witness — the triggerman, who later recanted his testimony.

Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli’s office did not oppose a ruling today finalizing the appellate court’s decision.

“In our opinion, further litigation would not change the result,” Cuccinelli spokeswoman Caroline Gibson wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

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