Ken Cuccinelli helps wrongly convicted felon

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli may be famous (or infamous) for his aggressive approach to states' rights and the Second Amendment. But would you believe that, deep down inside, Cuccinelli is a big ol' softie?


Cuccinelli befriended, hired, and is trying to clear the name of Thomas Haynesworth. The 46-year-old high school dropout served 27 years for an alleged string of assaults and rapes and was released in March. He was exonerated for two sexual assaults after DNA tests cleared his name but  was not cleared in the other two cases.

That's where Cuccinelli came in. The Post reports:

When DNA exonerated Haynesworth in two sexual assaults, Cuccinelli was so moved that he invited him in for a personal apology. That meeting led to a job offer. Then Tuesday, Cuccinelli argued before the court.

Cuccinelli argued Tuesday that Haynesworth should be cleared of all charges and expunged from the commonwealth's registry of sexual offenders. Surprisingly, Cuccinelli supported a failed effort to allow courts to consider non-DNA evidence in challenges to convictions. That bill failed, but a similar law eventually passed in 2004.

His actions have earned him this blush-inducing quote from GMU political scientist Mark Rozell: "People perceive Cuccinelli as a hard-right figure on a number of issues. They don’t tend to see him as having a soft side.”

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