General Assembly votes to give Thomas Haynesworth $800,000 for wrongful imprisonment


Thomas Haynesworth, center, gestures during a news conference with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, left, and Shawn Armbrust, of the Mid Atlantic Innocence Project, right, in Richmond in December 2011. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A similar measure has passed the Senate. A spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said he will review the bill.

In December, a Virginia’s Court of Appeals declared Haynesworth an innocent man, clearing his name and acknowledging that he spent time years behind bars for crimes he did not commit.

Haynesworth, was supported by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and a pair of state prosecutors — all of whom concluded that he was mistakenly identified by a rape victim as he walked to a Richmond market for sweet potatoes and bread one February afternoon in 1984.

Using technology that wasn’t available in the 1980s, authorities tested semen collected in a January 1984 rape for which Haynesworth had been convicted. It cleared him and pointed to a convicted rapist named Leon Davis.

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