Governor signs bill giving $1.55M to exonerated man

Keith Harward (WAVY photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill to provide $1.55 million to a man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Keith Allen Harward was released from prison in April 2016 at age 60 after DNA evidence proved him innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News. Harward was a sailor on the USS Carl Vinson, which was stationed at the shipyard near the victims’ home at the time.

Keith Harward adjusting to life outside prison

Legislation compensating Harward unanimously passed the House and Senate.

McAuliffe signed the bill last week. In order to accept the money, Harward must waive his right to seek damages from the state in court.

Before the bill passed, Harward told 10 On Your Side that the compensation is not enough to make up for what he’s gone through, but, “It’s a good offer.”

WAVY News reached out to Harward about the update in his case. He told us he did not have a comment right now.

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