Cuccinelli tries to help convicted felon clear his name

“He’s an extraordinary guy,” Haynesworth said of Cuccinelli. “A total stranger put it on the line for me.”

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.

“This case has kept many prosecutors from going to bed at night,” Cuccinelli said. “It’s a real wake-up call. Not to say things need to be changed, but that this could happen.”

Haynesworth was released from prison in March after serving 27 years in a string of rapes and assaults that prosecutors now believe were committed by another man. Although DNA evidence cleared him in two cases, there is no DNA to test in the other two.

Cuccinelli is pushing the court to exonerate Haynesworth in those, too.