Henry Brailey has been freed after 15 years of inequitable sentence

Henry Brailey Photo from Richmond Free Press
Henry Brailey Photo from Richmond Free Press

“Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

For Henry C. Brailey, those words have real meaning after his release from prison a week ago.

Just five days before he left office, former Gov. Ralph S. Northam issued a conditional pardon that reduced Mr. Brailey’s 93-year prison sentence for bank robbery to the 15 years he had served since his conviction in 2006.

Now living with relatives in Henrico County, Mr. Brailey is grateful for the governor’s action.

“I feel wonderful,” Mr. Brailey said Monday during the holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who used the “Free at last” phrase to cap his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the March on Washington in 1963.

Excerpt from Richmond Free Press Jeremy M. Lazarus | 1/20/2022, 6 p.m.