(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Thomas E. Haynesworth, 46, spent 27 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. He is finally exonerated on all charges. Democratic Senator Henry L. Marsh lll has introduced a compensation bill at the General Assembly for Mr. Haynesworth.
Thomas E. Haynesworth has been employed in Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office since he was paroled by Governor Bob McDonnell in March 2011. Haynesworth was a guest speaker at my men’s forum in June 2011. During his powerful delivery he said “I’m not bitter and has forgiven those in authority who wronged me, eventhough, the evidence was there to prove my innocence.”
It was clearly mistaken identity. Haynesworth was tried four times for a series of rapes in Richmond and Henrico in 1984. DNA test proved years later that the perpetrator was not Haynesworth but someone who resembled him.
Leon W. Davis, Jr. was the someone who not only resembled Haynesworth but was almost his age and had the same blood type. Davis was the serial rapist known as the Black Ninja and is now serving life in prison.
Haynesworth was granted three writs of actual innocence by state courts. He is currently employed as an office assistant in the state’s Attorney General office. Hayneworth would like to open an auto repair business.
Democratic Senator Henry L. Marsh, lll has introduced a bill before the Virginia General Assembly to award Haynesworth $800,000 in compensation for wrongful imprisonment. According to Senator Marsh the state has a cap on compensation for wrongly imprisoned persons at $800,000 for 20 years. Senator Marsh is requesting the maximum amount for Haynesworth.
Haynesworth is a little disappointed about the offer and told me “they should right the wrong, no price tag on my life. I missed a big piece of my life and they should pay.” View the Haynesworth bill http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?121+ful+SB41
I will update this post on any new developments in this story.