Virginia to Pay $1.9M to Wrongfully Convicted Man.
According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the State of Virginia has agreed to pay $1.9 million dollars to Earl Washington, Jr., as compensation for wrongfully convicting him of raping and murdering a 19-year old woman in 1982. Washington was sentenced to death and came within nine days of being executed in 1985, before DNA testing exonerated him.
Washington is mildly retarded and falsely confessed to the charges. A jury in Washington's civil case found that a police investigator had given Washington details of the crime that only the actual killer would have known, to bolster the credibility of his confession.
DNA testing exonerated Washington adn implicated a convicted rapist, who now faces capital-murder charges.
The settlement agreement still hs to be approved by the federal court. The agreement was reached after months of settlement negotiations involving the lawyers, the governor's office, and mediators. In 2003, State legislators were asked to compensate Washington $1 million for the wrongful conviction, but they refused. Now the agreed upon amount is nearly double that, at $1.9 million.
Washington Post (March 28, 2007)