Eligible for up to $1m, man in US wrongly jailed for 31 years gets $75 after his release

Posted on December 17 2016 , at 10:34 am
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Story highlights
  • New evidence filed in 2009 finally found him not guilty of a crime he did not commit.

McKinney and his lawyer, Jack Dowrey
McKinney and his lawyer

A Tennessee man, Lawrence McKinney, is fighting another injustice stemming from being compensated with only $75 despite being eligible for the maximum of $1m.

McKinney was convicted of rape and theft in 1978, resulting in a 115-year prison sentence.

However, new DNA evidence examined in 2009 found that he was not even at the scene of the crime, leading to his release from Riverbend Maximum Security Prison.

Now 60 years old, McKinney is looking to exonerate himself at the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole in order to get the sum.

But he can only receive that compensation if the parole board accept to hear his case again, which the board already declined to do twice.

Exoneration claims in Tennessee have only been paid out two times since 2003.

And a member of the board, Patsy Bruce, once said she was still not sure he was innocent and voted against his exoneration.

But McKinney, who works at the Immanuel Baptist Church, has applied again hoping that his luck smiles this time.

He said, ‘Being exonerated would put me on a standard with everyone else in society. I didn’t get a chance to build a career or buy a home. I lost all my 20s, 30s and 40s, but I’m a servant of the Lord and any blessing I get I just want for my wife.’

Tennessee’s governor Bill Haslam has received an executive clemency application according to the governor’s press secretary.

Haslam will have the final word and can decide to not act on the application, or choose to agree or disagree with the board’s recommendation on McKinney’s case.

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