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Virginia governor signs bill giving $1.55M to exonerated man

Keith Allen Harward (File photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill to provide $1.55 million to a man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Keith Allen Harward was released from prison in April 2016 after DNA evidence proved he's innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News. Harward was a sailor on the USS Carl Vinson, which was stationed at the shipyard close to the victims' home at the time.

Legislation providing Harward with compensation unanimously passed the House and Senate. McAuliffe signed the bill last week. In order to accept the money, Harward would have to waive his right to seek damages from the state in court.

Harward didn't immediately return a message left Monday.

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