I have not even been alive for 31 years, so it's pretty hard to imagine being in jail for 31 years. Even harder to imagine is being in jail for 31 years for a crime you didn't commit. And even harder to imagine than that is being in jail for 31 years for a crime you didn't commit, and then only getting $75 dollars as compensation for your time spen is a nightmare, oh my god, this story is terrifying.
Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened to 60-year-old Lawrence McKinney from Memphis, Tennessee. McKinney was originally charged for rape and burglary in 1978. DNA evidence ultimately freed him of the charges in 2009, only after spending decades in prison. At the time, prosecutors said, “If this evidence had been available ... there would have been no prosecution.”
“I don’t have no life, all my life was taken away,” McKinney said to CBS News.
Lawrence is now fighting for reasonable compensation to the tune of $1 million, which honestly doesn't sound like enough money to me. “It is not justice for him not to receive compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned,” said Jack Lowery, his lawyer, noting that nothing can replace the years he lost.
McKinney is also fighting for his name to be totally cleared. According to Vibe: "[T]he governor is conducting a thorough review of McKinney’s executive clemency application." The battle might be an uphill one, though, with some on the parole board refusing the believe McKinney's innocence: “In an exoneration hearing we have to have a lot of evidence, clear and convincing,” said Patsy Bruce, who served on Tennessee’s parole board for 12 years and heard McKinney’s first exoneration case.
“I have not been convinced he is innocent,” Bruce added.
[Photo: Screenshot from YouTube]