Kaine Pardons Two After DNA Clears Them of Rape

By: DENA POTTER - Associated Press Writer
By: DENA POTTER - Associated Press Writer

Gov. Tim Kaine has pardoned two men who spent years behind bars before being cleared of sexual assaults by DNA evidence saved in their cases.

Kaine on Monday granted absolute pardons to Victor Anthony Burnette and Arthur Lee Whitfield. The absolute pardon clears the crimes from the men's records.

Whitfield spent more than 23 years in prison for two rapes in Norfolk in 1982. He already was exonerated.

Burnette spent eight years behind bars for a 1979 rape in Richmond.

Both men requested that scientists examine biological evidence saved in their files long before DNA testing was commonly used. Since that evidence was found, the state has begun retesting samples saved in hundreds of cases in which someone was convicted.

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