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Celebrating the life of Roger D. Groot.
Agreed to by the Senate, February 9, 2006
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 17, 2006

WHEREAS, Roger D. Groot of Lexington, respected citizen and revered Washington and Lee law professor, died on November 12, 2005; and

WHEREAS, Roger Groot was born on July 31, 1942, in Mount Vernon, Washington; grew up in south Texas; graduated from Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude, with a degree in Russian in 1962; and served his country for six years in the United States Marine Corps, including one tour of duty in Vietnam; and

WHEREAS, after his military service, Roger Groot earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971, graduating with honors, and taught at the University of Georgia for two years before coming to Washington and Lee University in 1973; and

WHEREAS, a respected and admired professor and scholar, Roger Groot taught criminal law and procedure at the Washington and Lee University School of Law for over 30 years; and

WHEREAS, Roger Groot was a superb mentor and a legendary taskmaster, and fit the classical, stern law professor image; he had very high expectations and was as demanding on his bright and able students as he was on himself; and

WHEREAS, in 1999, Roger Groot became the director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a student-staffed legal aid clinic that provides resources to ensure an adequate defense for every indigent capital defendant in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, because of his vast legal expertise and experience, Roger Groot was involved in many high-profile capital murder cases in the Commonwealth, and was asked in 2002 to assist in the defense of Lee Boyd Malvo, the juvenile who was spared the death sentence in the sniper slayings that terrorized Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, in 2005, Roger Groot was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Forensic Science Board created by the General Assembly to establish policies, procedures, and standards for the Virginia Department of Forensic Science; and

WHEREAS, Roger Groot will be greatly remembered for his brilliant legal mind, his ardent opposition to the death penalty, and his passion for the law and the young legal minds he taught and nurtured; and

WHEREAS, Roger Groot will be sorely missed by his family, his numerous friends and admirers, and the students and faculty of Washington and Lee University; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly mourn the passing of an exemplary professor and outstanding Virginian, Roger D. Groot; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Roger D. Groot as an expression of the General Assembly’s great respect for his memory.

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