Earl Washington

Male, Person

1960 –


Who is Earl Washington?

Earl Washington Jr. is a wrongfully-convicted former Virginia death-row inmate, who was falsely imprisoned for rape and murder. Washington, with an IQ estimated at 69, confessed to the crime, but apparently only after being coerced by investigators. After a fellow inmate Joseph Giarratano took on his case, citing Washington's mental disability, DNA evidence was tested in 1994 and indicated that he was not responsible for the crimes for which he was sentenced. Shortly before his scheduled execution, he was granted clemency by Virginia's governor, who commuted his sentence to life in prison. Later on, after more accurate DNA testing strengthened the case for his innocence, he received a full pardon. Washington was represented by attorneys Robert T. Hall, Eric M. Freedman, Gerald Zerkin and Barry A. Weinstein.

Washington's case is frequently cited by opponents of the death penalty as an example of a wrongful death sentence.

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May 3, 1960
Also known as
  • Earl Washington Jr.

on July 23, 2013


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