Lawrence McKinney: Man Wrongly Imprisoned For 31 Years Gets $75 Compensation

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Lawrence McKinney: Man Wrongly Imprisoned For 31 Years Gets $75 Compensation Lawrence McKinney Facebook

A Tennessee man, who spent 31 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, has petitioned the state to compensate him with $1 million. The man has been identified as Lawrence McKinney, 61.

According to reports, McKinney asked for the compensation amount in lieu of the many years that were taken away from his life. However, he has received just $75.

Allegations And Conviction of Lawrence McKinney

In October 1977, a woman was brutally raped by two intruders inside her Memphis home. The woman later identified neighbor Lawrence McKinney as one of the two suspects.

McKinney was convicted on charges of rape and burglary and was sentenced to 115 years in jail. He was only 22 at that time. 30 years later, DNA evidence cleared him of all charges.

McKinney was released in 2009. The Tennessee Department of Correction gave him a $75 check to help him start afresh. It took him three months to cash the check as he had no ID when he was released, CNN reported.

Compensation Denied

Lawrence McKinney filed a petition asking Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam for his exoneration. That being said, The Tennessee Board of Parole, which exercises the power to make recommendations to the governor, refused to cater to McKinney’s request.

The decision was made in September when all the members voted against McKinney’s request. In light of McKinney’s request, the board cited a total of 97 infractions incurred by him during his time in jail. One of them even referred to an assault against a fellow inmate.

Furthermore, for 28 years into his sentence, McKinney had admitted to the burglary charge. So, in view of the litigations, the board decided to reject his plea.

What McKinney’s Attorney Had To Say

McKinney’s lawyer, Jack Lowery, believes the decision should be made by the governor solely.

“The parole board is not qualified to make these decisions and should not,” Lowery said. “For the parole board to step in when many (of them) are not trained in the law is ridiculous.”

Lawrence McKinney was denied exoneration one more time in 2010 by the then-governor Phil Bredesen. Understanding it’s his last chance to win the compensation, McKinney said he wants to be treated fairly.

“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,” he said.