Nationwide — Lawrence McKinney from Memphis, Tennessee served 31 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, and so far he has only received $75. At the young age of 21, he was convicted on rape and burglary charges in 1978 and sentenced to 115 years in jail, but was released in 2009 when DNA evidence cleared of the charges.
But now, McKinney is asking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to exonerate him. He is also currently petitioning the state of Tennessee to compensate him with $1 million for the years of his life that were unjustly spent in prison. However, things are not going so well with the exoneration request sor petition.
His first exoneration request in 2010 to then Governor Phil Bredesen was never denied or approved before he left office. Even worse, The Tennessee Board of Parole, which makes recommendations to the governor, recently denied his request by a 7-0 vote at a hearing back in September 2016.
A spokesperson for the board released a statement saying: “The (parole) board reviewed all relevant information related to the crime, conviction and subsequent appeals, as well as all information provided by the petitioner. After considering all of the evidence, the board did not find clear and convincing evidence of innocence and declined to recommend clemency in this matter.”
Regarding the ongoing injustice, McKinney told CNN, “Although I’ve spent more than half of my life locked up for a crime I did not do, I am not bitter or angry at anyone, because I have found the Lord and married a good wife. All I ask is that I be treated right and fair for what has happened to me. I didn’t do nothing, and I just want to be treated right.”
According to CBS News, 30 states offer compensation to prisoners that have been wrongfully convicted, but less than half are ever paid.
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