An African American from Kansas City, in the United States was released on Tuesday after spending more than 40 years in jail after being charged with three crimes he did not commit. The court found that he was wrongly imprisoned in 1979.
The man, identified as Kevin Strickland, 62, he always pleaded not guilty to the murders he allegedly committed when he was 18 years old. However, it was in May of this year that the Jackson County prosecutor Jean peters baker admitted the sentence review, after two other men pleaded guilty to the crime in November 2020.
“In these unique circumstances, the Court’s confidence in Strickland’s convictions is so undermined that it can’t be kept and the conviction must be annulled, ”Judge James Welsh ruled in his verdict and ordered the immediate release of the inmate.
Strickland learned the news from television while watching a novel, AP News reported this afternoon.
“I’m not necessarily mad. Its alot. I think I have created emotions that are not yet known. Joy, sadness, fear. I’m trying to figure out how to put them together, “he said upon leaving prison. In addition, he added that he will join efforts to prevent other people from going through the same thing.
Strickland’s release was made possible after Jean Peters Baker availed himself of a local law allowing prosecutors challenge the convictions if they believe that the defendant is not guilty of the acts of which he is accused.
The law only allows the payment of civil damages for wrongful imprisonment to inmates who prove their innocence through a DNA test, so they do not qualify for compensation, said Tricia Rojo Bushnell, executive director of the NGO Midwest Innocence Project .
“Even when the prosecutor is on his side, it took Mr. Strickland months and months to come home and he still had to go home, to a system that will not provide any compensation for the 43 years he lost,” he said.