Convicted of murder in 1978, Kevin Strickland was acquitted by a Missouri court on Tuesday and released from prison after nearly 43 years. Despite having his sentence overturned, the man will not receive any compensation from the state for his time in prison.
– I still can’t believe it. I didn’t think that day would come, said Strickland, 62, after being released from prison in Cameron, Missouri.
Strickland spent 43 years in prison and was released 7 years before his 50-year sentence ended as a result of years of efforts by his lawyers. The man was convicted in 1978 as one of three people charged with a robbery, in which three people were killed and a fourth was injured. The woman who survived the attack initially named Strickland as one of the attackers, but changed her testimony in 2009, helping lawyers release him. She testified that she had originally named Strickland under pressure from the police.
Strickland’s conviction was called for by state prosecutors who argued that the man’s innocence was “clear and convincing.” Judge James Welsh agreed and decided that he should not spend “not a day more” in prison.
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Despite the annulment of the sentence, the man will not receive any compensation from the state of Missouri for wrongful conviction. This is because state law only allows compensation to be paid if the offender has proven innocent through DNA testing. Strickland’s lawyers have launched an online fundraiser for him and have so far raised over 300,000. dollars.
According to the Kansas City Star daily, 43 years wrongly spent by a man in prison is a nationwide record.
mad / PAP