July 6, 2007
Kaine issues absolute pardon to Earl Washington Jr.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The governor has issued an "absolute pardon" to a man
who spent nearly a decade on Virginia's death row and came within nine days
of being executed for a murder he did not commit.
The pardon by Governor Tim Kaine proclaims Earl Washington Junior's
innocence in the 1982 rape and murder of 19-year-old Rebecca Lynn Williams
The mildly retarded Washington falsely confessed and later recanted, but was
sentenced to death and came within days of execution in 1985.
In 2000, D-N-A testing implicated a convicted rapist, Kenneth Maurice
Tinsley. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to killing Williams.
Washington was pardoned by Governor Jim Gilmore in 2002, but that pardon did
not state he was innocent, only that a jury would not have convicted him in
light of the D-N-A evidence.
Kaine wrote in the pardon -- issued Tuesday -- that he believes it is "just
and appropriate" to grant the revised pardon for Washington, who's now 47.
A message left for an attorney requesting to speak with Washington was not
immediately returned today.
Source : The Associated Press