State approves $1 million in reparations for man imprisoned 31 years

Lawrence McKinney, cleared of a rape conviction after spending more than three decades in prison, has become the first person in the state to receive $1 million in reparations from the state, the maximum allowed under Tennessee law, reports WTVF.

According to McKinney, he was in prison for 31 years, 9 months, 18 days, and 12 hours.

In 2009, DNA testing proved McKinney’s innocence, but his fight for justice was long from being over. In 2016, a parole board unanimously voted not to recommend McKinney be exonerated.

In 2017, Governor Bill Haslam went against the parole boards vote and exonerated McKinney, meaning he and his legal team were able to ask the State for compensation of up to $1 million. Wednesday, authorities confirmed the full amount of $1 million was granted.

“We thank the governor, and we thank the board,” David Raybin said. (Note: He’s McKinney’s attorney.) “Highest amount ever paid, but then again, no one was ever incarcerated for this long.”

According to reports, $353,000 was set to go toward attorneys fees, while $647,000 will go to McKinney in monthly installments.

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