Kevin Strickland, 62, was wrongfully convicted for a triple homicide in 1979 and spent 43 years in prison; upon his release thousands of people came together to provide him with more than $1 million.
Judge James Welsh ordered for Strickland’s release earlier this week, recognizing that the evidence used to convict him had been recanted or disproven. However, even with the murder convictions being overturned, he didn’t qualify for wrongful imprisonment payments because his conviction wasn’t overturned using DNA evidence, which is the standard in Missouri.
A GoFundMe was set up by user Tricia Rojo Bushnell, hoping to raise $430,000. At time of writing, the fundraising effort had raised over $1.4 million. The page explained some of the challenges Strickland could face after his release, promising that 100% of the funds would go directly to him.
“For those that have been wrongfully convicted, the agony of prison life and the complete loss of freedom are only compounded by the feelings of what might have been. Deprived for years of family and friends and the ability to establish oneself professionally, the nightmare does not end upon release. With no money, housing, transportation, health services or insurance, and a criminal record that is rarely cleared despite innocence, the punishment lingers long after innocence has been proven. This is a reality that current client Kevin Strickland could soon be facing.”
Donors commented on the page expressing their anger and frustration at his wrongful conviction and imprisonment and how thankful they were to the Innocence Project for working towards his release.
At the time of his release, Strickland said he was “thankful for God walking me through this for 43 years”. Throughout his trial and imprisonment, he never ceased claiming that he was watching TV at the time of the killings and had nothing to do with it.
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AXIOS
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