“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.
Strickland said he learned of his passing through a breaking news broadcast that interrupted the soap opera he was watching on Tuesday.
Facing a world he doesn’t know much about
Strickland’s first night out of prison was a restless one, 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.”
Now that Strickland is a free man adjusting to a new world – a world free from cell detention and subject to regimental prison routines – he is working to build a new home. home and life for himself without any financial assistance from Missouri.
Convicted as a teenager, exonerated as an adult
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.
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.
Over the past year, there have been several attempts to call for the release of Strickland.
In May, a petition to the Missouri Supreme Court for his release was filed with an accompanying letter detailing the results of the Integrity Unit’s investigation into the corruption. crimes by the district attorney. The team reviews post-conviction claims of innocence when new and credible evidence of innocence becomes available.
In May, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker joined attorneys for Strickland and the Midwest Innocence Project to present evidence that has emerged since his conviction, according to court documents. But in June, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to hear Strickland’s lawsuit.
Later that month, Missouri Governor Mike Parson released a list of 36 pardons, but Strickland was not one of them.
Earlier this month, Strickland testified in a three-day evidence hearing – which included witness testimony given under oath – and the evidence presented was sufficient to vindicate him.
In 2020, the whole country has 129 posthumous orders. According to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations, defendants pardoned last year spent a total of 1,737 years behind bars, an average of 13.4 years per pardon. And 30% of false convictions in the registry’s database can be traced back to mistaken witness identification.