No one could actually explain what it is like to be a prisoner unless they actually get arrested and be in prison themselves. A lot of people have different experiences, people who simply get arrested and stay in jail for a night or two does not have the same experience with those who have been imprisoned for so many years.
It is like comparing a mother of one to a mother of five, both of them knows exactly how difficult it is to be a mother but the other does not how even more difficult it could actually be. Prisoners are known to be the people who are caught doing illegal things, but unfortunately, not everyone who is convicted is actually guilty.
A lot of people fight for justice, people who have been convicted for a crime they didn’t do deserve justice just as much as the victims because they are victims as well.
Unfortunately, some people die in prison because their case got closed despite their innocence, but there are also some who continues to fight no matter how long it takes, just like this man from Tennessee, who spent 31 years behind bars and is finally seeing the world again since he never gave up to gain back his freedom and innocence.
McKinney spent 31 years in prison
$1 Million For 31 Years
Lawrence McKinney was put behind bars in 1978 for rape and burglary. Then again, that was all part of the past now because he has been released for a crime that DNA evidence had cleared him of. Last week, the Board of Claims granted him not just his freedom in 2009, but also $1 million.
According to his legal representation, Atty. David Raybin for the last six years, this moment is something that he would refer to as “bittersweet”. This is because his client has only been formally exonerated within the last three months for the said crimes. Raybin even stated how he considers this as “one of the most moving events” that has happened in his 40 years of being a criminal defense lawyer. He even admired the patience and courage of McKinney to fight for the last couple of years for the justice that he deserves no matter how long it took him.
The $1 million that he received will actually be divided into upfront payment which is $353,000 that would cover legal representation fees as well as the costs and the debt of a vehicle. He would receive $3,350 every month for a minimum of 10 years.
If ever he dies within the 10 years, then his wife or his estate would be the ones who will be eligible to To Recife the monthly payment. This million dollar compensation is actually known to be the highest permitted compensation in the history of the state along with the highest granted because of how long McKinney has served in prison.
$1 Million compensation said to be not enough
However, a lot of people are saying that this amount doesn’t seem to be sufficient especially after more than 30 years, but $1 million is the maximum amount that was set 10 years ago and this obviously does not consider any sort of adjustments when it comes to the rising living costs nowadays in the country.
This doesn’t seem to matter to the 61-year-old man though, because, for him, this new chapter of his life is a blessing enough for him. According to Gov. Bill Haslam McKinney is considered as innocent in the eye of the law despite what the people say about the $1 million compensation not being enough. Other states have higher compensation so they guaranteed to look into it in the next coming months.
Number Of Wrongly Convicted Prisoners Rises
The number of exonerations in the United States continues to increase that in fact, it has managed to hit its all-time high with a total of 166 wrongly convicted people from 1964 to 2016. Based on a report from the National Registry of Exoneration, there more than 2,000 that are listed on the registry as of last month. Unfortunately, not everyone who is wrongly convicted is recorded and has the chance to get justice.