NEW YORK - A Tennessee man who served 31 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit is petitioning the State to compensate him $1 million for the years of his life that were taken away. All he’s gotten so far is $75.
In October 1977 a Memphis woman was raped in her home by two intruders. She later identified one of them as her neighbour, Lawrence McKinney, who was 22 at the time. He was convicted on rape and burglary charges in 1978 and sentenced to 115 years in jail.
DNA evidence cleared him of the charges in 2008, and when he was released in 2009, the Tennessee department of corrections gave him a $75 check to restart his life.
“Because I had no ID it took me three months before I was able to cash it,” McKinney told CNN.
Now the 61-year-old is asking Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to exonerate him. The Tennessee board of parole, which makes recommendations to the governor, denied McKinney’s request by a 7-0 vote at a hearing in September.