David Vasquez marks 19 years of freedom


David Vasquez, a Virginia man who served four years in prison for a 1984 murder he didn’t commit, was exonerated on January 4, 1989. Today marks the 19th anniversary of the day of his release from prison after DNA proved that another man had committed the murder. The Virginia Governor pardoned Vasquez based on his innocence, making him one of the first people to be exonerated by DNA testing in the United States.

Vasquez, who has limited mental capacity, allegedly confessed to the murder before pleading guilty, in order to avoid the death penalty. The DNA tests that proved his innocence led to the conviction of another man, who was executed for the murders in 1994.

Read more about Vasquez’s case and the nine other Virginia exonerees here


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