Wrongly Convicted Virginia Man Pardoned by the Governor
“It’s incredibly exciting. It’s only a little bit bittersweet because, you know, you’re so happy that the person’s out, but then you kind of remember how much they’ve lost,” said Shawn Armbrust, executive director of the
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
, which filed a petition asking for Montgomery’s pardon on McDonnell’s behalf.
“I’ve never seen a case move this fast,” Armbrust said. “I think it moved quickly because there was already an order from another judge declaring his innocence and vacating his conviction. And even though that order technically wasn’t valid, I think the idea that both the commonwealth’s attorney and the judge had found this guy innocent, and he was still sitting in prison, was pretty horrifying to a lot of people and I think the governor recognized that.”
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