Michael Kenneth McAlister was convicted in 1986 despite the only trial evidence linking him to the attack being the victim’s eyewitness testimony.
The exoneration came five days before a hearing that could have led to McAlister’s indefinite confinement as a violent sex offender under the state’s civil commitment law. Authorities, including the former Richmond police detective who investigated McAlister and former and current city prosecutors, say the real perpetrator was a serial rapist who three decades ago bore a striking resemblance to McAlister.
“My staff and I have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the documentation in this case and concluded that a pardon is appropriate in light of the overwhelming evidence, including a recent confession by another individual, pointing to Mr McAlister’s actual innocence of the crime for which he was convicted,” McAuliffe said in a written statement.
Source: Guardian Report