Man who served 19 years on wrongful conviction sentenced on gun and drug charges

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A man who spent 19 years in prison on a wrongful conviction was sent to the Allegheny County Jail today for 11 1/2 to 23 months for drug and gun charges.

Thomas Doswell, 54, was arrested Aug. 20, 2012, and pleaded guilty in October to illegally possessing a firearm, drug possession and tampering with evidence.

This morning, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani sentenced Doswell to jail.

Defense attorney James DePasquale requested a sentence that would allow his client to remain in the community, where he has a job and family.

Mr. DePasquale said he was happy with the sentence. The standard guideline range was 4 to 8 years in prison.

"I think Judge Mariani was very compassionate with him, but you reach a point where you wear out your good will," he said.

Doswell was arrested and convicted of raping a woman who worked at Forbes Hospital in 1986, but he was released in 2005 after DNA tests showed he did not commit the crime.

He reached a $3.7 million settlement with the city of Pittsburgh after his release for the wrongful conviction and receives a monthly stipend.

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