Thomas Haynesworth was wrongfully convicted of a sexual assault in 1984 in Henrico County, Virginia. Entering prison at 18, Haynesworth spent the next 27 years behind bars. In 2009 Haynesworth’s convictions on the sexual assault charges were vacated based on new DNA testing spurred by the Innocence Project, which identified another man, Leon Davis (a known serial rapist who was already incarcerated on other crimes) as the perpetrator.
Now fully exonerated, Haynesworth was released from prison in March 2011 at 46 years old. Throughout his arrest, trail and prison term, he had always maintained his innocence.
The million dollar recompense comes from a bill signed into law earlier this month by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. The bill, proposed by Virginia Senator Henry Marsh, earmarked relief funds specifically
for Haynesworth, providing an initial lump sum, sizable annuity, educational allowance and a monthly retirement income.
By accepting these funds, Haynseworth must agree to forego any claims against the state for his wrongful conviction.