A Collection in
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives
Collection number 021
Washington and Lee University, School of Law, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. ArchivesLewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives
Washington and Lee University
School of Law
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0303
Phone: (540) 458-8969
© 2016 By Washington and Lee University. All rights reserved.
Processed by: John N. Jacob
Collection is open to research.
There are no restrictions.
Roger D. Groot Collection, Ms 021, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, VA
Roger D. Groot estate.
Roger Groot was born July 31, 1942, in Mt. Vernon, Wash., but grew up in south Texas. He attended Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate, graduating magna cum laude in 1962 with a degree in Russian. After serving six years in the Marine Corps, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, Groot attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with high honors in 1971. He taught at the University of Georgia for two years before joining Washington and Lee.
Groot joined the School of Law at Washington and Lee University in 1973, teaching criminal law and procedure and becoming one of the nation's top criminal law experts. In 1990 he was named Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law, and in 1999 he took over direction of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a trial-level legal aid clinic focused on capital murder defense. A scholar of incredible breadth, Groot was a respected legal historian in addition to his expertise in criminal law.
Groot retired as director of the VCCC in 2004 but continued his distinctive career as a teacher, scholar and advocate. In 2005, Groot was appointed by Gov. Mark Warner to the newly formed Forensic Science Board, created by the General Assembly to establish policies, procedures and standards to guide the operations of the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. On leave from the School of Law at the time of his death, Groot had just completed a federal capital defense trial in which the defendant was sentenced to life without parole.
He died unexpectedly of natural causes November 12, 2005 and was survived by his wife, Ellen, three children, and three grandchildren.
The collection consists of .25 cubic foot of correspondence,subject files from Groot files and posthumous tributes to him. There is also a resolution honoring Groot from the American Inns of Court. This is in an oversized folder stored in the map cases.
Treated in the correspondence and subject files are Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse emails and training manual; Groot's 1991 article on suicide;correspondence about a proposed television program based on Groot, and a treatment about the same; correspondence about cases of death by salt or pepper ingestion; and an off-print of tributes to Groot from the Winter 2007 issue of Washington and Lee Law Review.