Donations continue to pour in for a man who has been left with “nothing” after his wrongful conviction was overturned.
According to The Associated Press, more than $655,000 has been donated to Kevin Strickland’s GoFundMe page after he was released from a Missouri jail on Tuesday after being unfairly imprisoned since 1979 for a triple killing he had no part in.
In a first-of-its-kind case in Missouri, Judge James Welsh, a retired Missouri Court of Appeals judge, presided over the evidentiary hearing that led to Strickland’s release. In August, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker requested the hearing under a new state law, arguing that most of the evidence used to convict Strickland over the last 42 years had been recanted or disproven.
Larry Ingram, 21, John Walker, 20, and Sherrie Black, 22, were killed at a residence in Kansas City in 1978, and Strickland was one of four accused shooters.
He was 18 at the time of the murders, and his conviction was based entirely on the testimony of Cynthia Douglas, a lady who was there at the time of the shooting and survived it. After the trials, Douglas supposedly regretted her testimony and had second thoughts about the verdict, but she never publicly recanted her testimony for fear of being charged with perjury.
However, due to Missouri state regulations, Strickland is not eligible for any compensation for his 40-plus years in prison. The state’s rules only allow for wrongful imprisonment payments to be made to those who have been exonerated by DNA evidence.
According to the Kansas City Star, anyone mistakenly convicted in nearby states such as Kansas is eligible for up to $65,000 per year for the time they were wrongfully imprisoned. Sean O’Brien, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, championed a bill that would pay someone in prison for as long as Strickland $2.7 million.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Strickland has always claimed that he was at home watching TV at the time of the murders, which occurred when he was 18 years old.
As part of their fight for his freedom, the Midwest Innocence Project set up an online fundraising in June. They said he required assistance with his essential living expenditures.
“All monies go straight to Mr. Strickland, who the state of Missouri will not provide,” organizers wrote on Tuesday. This is a condensed version of the information.