Would you accept $1 million as compensation for 27 years spent wrongfully imprisoned?


    How much is 27 years wrongfully spent in prison worth? In Virginia, apparently those 27 years are worth a mere $1 million and some change.

    The payment will come on the heels of legislation signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell that will award Thomas Haynesworth over $1 million after spending close to three decades in prison for sexual assaults he did not commit.    

    McDonnell, in his magnanimity, declared that Haynesworth’s compensation was “morally right” because of the years he lost behind bars.

    In case you’re wondering, Haynesworth’s compensation comes out to be a little over $37,000 a year ($1 million divided by 27). Do you think that $37, 000 a year is appropriate compensation? The state must be assuming that each former prisoner being compensated would be little more than a manager at McDonalds on the “outside.”

    Virginia has truly become the laughing stock of the country in more ways than one. Exceptional as Virginians think their state is, the only exception that Virginia seems to be playing out is to reason and fairness.

    Issues of women’s rights, voting rights, gun rights, uranium mining rights, unionization rights, fair wage rights, equality rights, and appropriate compensation for the wrongfully accused have all cast a shadow over the idea of Virginia as a state squared firmly in the 21st Century.

    Rather, Virginia’s “leaders” seem hell bent on moving Virginia back to the “angelic” days of Virginia’s hateful past.

    $1 million for 27 years spent wrongfully in prison may have been appropriate 50 years ago. But in 2012, it only shows how backward Virginia still is.  

    • glennbear

      Another area where VA is lacking is the antiquated notion that inmates who complete their sentence should be ineligible to vote unless given special dispensation by Gov. Bob “throwback” McD. Denying citizens the right to vote because of a misstep serves no purpose and smacks of unconstitutional “unusual” punishment beyond a prison term. I am sure this has nothing to do with the fact that minorities are incarcerated in greater numbers and tend to vote Democratic.  

    • kindler

      …that no one required him to buy health insurance. That would be an outrageous infringement on his liberty!

    • pol

      all the way around.  No amount of money is going to get the stolen years of this man’s life and freedom back.  I wonder if he will be able to get free mental health care?  He’s going to need it.