Virginia House passes bill to pay over $1.5M to Keith Harward

By James A. Riley - Digital Content Producer
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By Emily Satchell - RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill to compensate a former sailor who spent decades behind bars for crimes he didn't commit.

The Commonwealth will pay Keith Harward more than $1.5 million in relief. He will also receive up to $10,000 of career and technical training.

Harward was released from prison in April 2016 after 33 years. He had been serving a life sentence for the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News, where Harward's ship, the USS Carl Vinson, was docked at the time.

New DNA testing cleared Harward of the crime. His conviction thrown out and his name was removed from Virginia's sex offender registry.

Before the bill passed, Hardward 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."

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