Constitutional Law

Virginia AG Not Only Seeks to Exonerate Paroled Rapist But Hires Him to Work in AG's Office


Convinced that a convicted rapist exonerated by DNA evidence in two cases, after serving 27 years, is also innocent in two other cases, Virginia’s top law enforcement official has personally apologized and is trying to persuade a state appeals court to clear Thomas Haynesworth’s record completely.

And Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has also given the 46-year-old Haynesworth a job in his own office, reports the Washington Post.

Yesterday, Haynesworth sorted mail at the AG’s office before Cuccinelli went with his employee to make a passionate argument on his behalf to a state appeals court. Then the two returned to work, the newspaper recounts.

An article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch provides additional details about the court hearing.

While Cuccinelli’s devotion to Haynesworth’s cause might seem out of character for a law-and-order man, the AG sees his position as fully in accord with his principles, the Post reports.

“The proper conservative is careful about the exercise of government power—even judicial power,” he tells the newspaper.

Haynesworth is grateful for the state job but hopes one day to run his own auto repair business.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Virginia AG Uses Rare ‘Writ of Innocence’ to Ask Court to Release Prisoner”

ABAJournal.com: “After DNA Exonerates Convicted Rapists, Victims Who Identified Them Deal with the Guilt”

Updated at 6:40 p.m. to link to Times-Dispatch article.

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