Tennessee: A 61-year-old man from Tennessee, who was imprisoned for 31 years for a crime he didn’t commit, had petitioned the state to offer him USD 1 million as compensation but has so far received only USD 75.
According to a CNN report, Lawrence McKinney, who was 22 at the time, was accused of raping a Memphis woman at her home. The woman was raped by two intruders and McKinney was identified as one of them by her in the year 1977.
He was convicted of rape and burglary charges in 1978 and sentenced to 115 years in jail.
However he was acquitted off all charges in 2008 after a DNA test was conducted. He was given $75 check by the Tennessee Department of Corrections to restart his life.
"Because I had no ID it took me three months before I was able to cash it", McKinney said.
His request to the governor to exonerate him was denied by a 7-0 vote by the Tennessee Board of Parole, which makes recommendations to the governor, Bill Haslam.
Melissa McDonald, spokesperson for the Tennessee Board of Parole said the board had taken into consideration all the documents related to the crime, conviction, subsequent appeals and information given by the petitioner but didn’t find clear evidence of innocence and declined his request.
However, Jack Lowery, one of McKinney’s attorneys said that the parole board is not qualified to make these decisions. “For the parole board to step in when many (of them) are not trained in the law is ridiculous”, he added.
McKinney had initially applied for the same in 2010 when Phil Bredsen was the governor but he never acted on the board’s recommendation against exoneration. This is McKinney’s second and last chance for exoneration.
McKinney 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. All I ask is that I be treated right and fair for what has happened to me. I didn't do anything, and I just want to be treated right.”...