Wrongfully Convicted Man Tried to Make the Best of Prison

Virginia man testifies at hearing

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012  |  Updated 9:04 PM EDT
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Wrongfully Convicted Man Tried to Make the Best of Prison

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A man wrongfully jailed for 27 years in Virginia testified before Congress Wednesday.

Thomas Haynesworth, 46, testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on wrongful convictions.
Haynesworth had been convicted in a series of rapes in 1984, but two state prosecutors and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli concluded last year that he was mistakenly identified by a rape victim.

In December, he was exonerated.

Wednesday he told lawmakers that even though he knew he was innocent, he tried to make the best of a bad situation while he was in jail.

“I want to be better coming out than I came in," Haynesworth told lawmakers.  "Prison, you know, for 27 years, I tell a lot of people it’s kind of been a blessing to me because a lot of things I accomplished in prison. If I never went to prison I don’t think I would have accomplished those things.”

While in prison Haynesworth earned his GED and studied auto mechanics, welding and masonry.

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