Kevin Strickland: Thousands of people have raised more than $900k for a man who served 43 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit

Kevin Strickland, 62 years old, is Tuesday morning absolution after decades of service at the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri. Strickland was convicted in 1979 of one count of murder and two counts of second-degree murder in a triple homicide. He received a 50-year life sentence without the possibility of parole for a crime he for many years maintained he had nothing to do with.
Senior Judge James Welsh dismissed all charges against Strickland. His release makes his detention the longest false imprisonment in Missouri history and one of the longest in the nation, according to National Registry of Forgiveness.
The Midwest Innocence Project has created a GoFundMe . account to help Strickland start his life again, as he was not eligible for help from the state of Missouri.

In Missouri, only those exonerated through DNA testing are eligible for $50 per day post-conviction, according to the Innocence Project. That is not the case for Strickland.

As of early Thursday afternoon, donations to Strickland had reached $910,000.

After serving 43 years in prison for the triple murder he said he didn't commit, a Missouri man is finally free.

The fund, set up over the summer with a goal of raising $7,500, says it will amount to about $175 for each year Strickland is wrongly convicted.

Thirty-six states and Washington, DC, have book laws that provide compensation to exempt people, according to the Innocence Project. The federal standard for compensating those wrongly convicted is a minimum of $50,000 per year incarcerated, plus an additional amount per year for death row inmates.

Adjusting to a new world

Strickland said he learned of his passing through a breaking news broadcast that interrupted the soap opera he was watching on Tuesday.

The first thing he did after his release was visit his mother’s grave.

“To know my mother was down there and I hadn’t had a chance to visit her over the years… I watched the tears I shed when they told me I had sinned. that I didn’t commit,” Strickland told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday.

He visits his mother's grave for the first time after serving 43 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit

He said his first night out of prison was a restless night where the thoughts of returning to prison, among others, kept him awake, he said Wednesday.

“I’m used to living in a closed cell where I know exactly what’s going on in there with me,” he said. “And being at home and you hear the creaking in the house and the wiring and whatever… I was a little scared. I thought someone was going to come get me.”

Convicted as a teenager, exonerated as an adult

Four people were shot in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 25, 1978, resulting in three deaths, according to CNN affiliate KSHB. The sole survivor of the crime, Cynthia Douglas, who died in 2015, testified in 1978 that Strickland was at the scene of the triple murder.

Douglas was wounded by a shotgun and later told police that Vincent Bell and Kiln Adkins were two of the perpetrators. But she didn’t identify Strickland, who she knows, was at the scene until a day later, according to KSHB, after it was suggested that her Strickland’s hair matched Douglas’ description about the shooter. Douglas insists she initially failed to identify him as a result of cognac and marijuana use, according to KSHB.

He spent many years in prison for raping author Alice Sebold, the subject of her memoirs, & # 39;  Lucky.  & # 39;  A judge just vindicated him

But over the past 30 years, she has said she made a mistake and misidentified Strickland. According to KSHB, Douglas worked to liberate Strickland through the Midwest Innocence Project.

According to Strickland’s attorney, Robert Hoffman, the two attackers she identified at the scene were both guilty of second-degree murder and each received about 10 years in prison for the crime.


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