A man from Tennessee, Lawrence McKinney, who was wrongly imprisoned for 31 years for a crime he didn’t commit has asked for a $1m compensation to restart his life after he was handed $75 by the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
In October 1977, a woman was raped by two strangers and upon questioning by police, identified one of her alleged rapist as her neighbor, Lawrence- he was then convicted on rape and burglary charges in 1978 and sentenced to 115 years in jail at the young age of 22.
In 2008, DNA evidence cleared Lawrence of any crimes and he was now released from prison the following year, but was sadly given $75 to start his life from scratch.
Lawrence, now 61, is asking the governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam to exonerate him, which will pave the way for him to receive up to $1m from the government to start up his life. But according to CNN, the Tennessee Board of Parole in September denied Lawrence’s request for exoneration.
“The (parole) board reviewed all relevant information related to the crime, conviction and subsequent appeals, as well as all information provided by the petitioner,” said Melissa McDonald, spokesperson for the Tennessee Board of Parole.
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.”
“The parole board is not qualified to make these decisions and should not,” Jack Lowery, one of McKinney’s attorneys said.
“For the parole board to step in when many (of them) are not trained in the law is ridiculous.
Lawrence who is now married has revealed he doesn’t hold any bitterness as he is now married and has found Jesus Christ.
Lawrence speaking to CNN said;
“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,” McKinney said.
“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.”