A 62-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday to a 1982 rape and murder in Virginia for which Earl Washington Jr. was wrongly imprisoned and nearly executed. Kenneth Tinsley, 62, was already imprisoned for two other rapes and was sentenced yesterday to two additional life sentences. "I'm sorry for everything I did," he told the judge yesterday.
Washington, who falsely confessed to the 1982 rape, was sentenced to death in 1984. He came within nine days of execution before questions about his guilt led the Virginia governor to commute his sentence to life in prison in 1994. He would spend another seven years in prison – for a total of 17 years served – before DNA conclusively proved his innocence and led to his exoneration.
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. (Daily Press, Newport News, VA – 04/12/07, Payment required for full article)