Meet the Exonerees

Leslie Vass

State: Maryland
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: Nov-74
Age at Arrest: 17
Conviction Date: 1975
Age When Exonerated: 28
Exonerated Date: 15-Aug-86
Time Served: 10
Conviction: Armed Robbery
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No


Case Details

On February 15, 1975, Joseph Chester identified seventeen-year-old Leslie Vass as the man who had robbed him four months prior. Vass was arrested and sentenced to twenty years in prison for armed robbery. Eleven years later, in the summer of 1986, Maryland Governor Harry Hughes granted Vass a full pardon. Chester recanted his testimony against Vass after Vass made him aware of the real perpetrator’s identity, which he discovered in prison. Though the State of Maryland has granted Vass $300,000 total in compensation, his record has yet to be expunged. This has proved detrimental to Vass, who was denied bail after a subsequent arrest in 2004 given his non-expunged record. Vass earned his BA and paralegal certificate following his release, has earned many awards for his work, and enjoys spending time with his children.