Kevin Strickland: Thousands of people raised over $ 900,000 for man who served 43 years in prison for a crime he did not commit
In Missouri, only people cleared through DNA testing are eligible for $ 50 per day in sentenced custody, according to Project Innocence. This was not the case for Strickland.
By early Thursday afternoon, donations for Strickland had exceeded $ 910,000.
The fund was set up over the summer with the aim of raising $ 7,500, which the fund said would equate to about $ 175 for every year Strickland wrongly spends.
Thirty-six states and Washington, DC, have laws in effect that offer compensation to exempt individuals, according to Project Innocence. The federal standard for compensating wrongly convicted persons is at least $ 50,000 per year of incarceration, plus an additional amount for each year spent on death row.
Adapt to a new world
Strickland said he learned of his release through a breaking news report that interrupted the soap opera he was watching on Tuesday.
The first thing he did after his release was to visit his mother’s grave.
“Knowing that my mom was under this filth and that I haven’t had a chance to visit her in recent years …” Strickland told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday.
His first night out of jail was hectic, where thoughts of returning to jail, among other things, kept him awake, he said on Wednesday.
“I’m used to living in a closed, confined cell where I know exactly what’s going on in there with me,” he said. “And being at home and you hear the house creaking, the electrical wiring and everything… I was a little scared. I thought someone was coming to get me.”
Sentenced as a teenager, exonerated as an adult
Douglas sustained a gunshot wound and told police Vincent Bell and Kiln Adkins were two of the perpetrators. But she didn’t identify Strickland, whom she knew, as being at the scene until a day later, according to KSHB, after it was suggested to her that Strickland’s hair matched Douglas’ description of the gunman. Douglas claimed his initial failure to identify him was due to the use of brandy and marijuana, according to KSHB.
But for 30 years, she says she was wrong and that she falsely identified Strickland. According to KSHB, Douglas made efforts to free Strickland through the Midwest Innocence Project.
The two assailants she identified at the scene both pleaded guilty to second degree murder and each ended up serving around 10 years in prison for the crimes, according to Strickland attorney Robert Hoffman.