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Wrongfully convicted Kansans finally will get restitution

Source: Kansas City Star / Getty

A man in Kansas, who spent a whopping 23 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit, will finally be awarded $1.5 million for his wrongful conviction.

Lamonte McIntyre was convicted and sentenced to two terms of life in prison for the murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn back in 1994. Both victims had been shot in the middle of the day while they sat in their car. At the time, Mclntyre was 17 and there was no physical evidence or motive that linked him to the crime whatsoever.

The Associated Press reports that documents made public during his 8-year fight for freedom allege that the prosecutor in the case intimidated witnesses after they told her that McIntyre did not look like the shooter once they saw him in person. Beyond that, there are also allegations that the detective who investigated the murders would prey on and harass African-American women, which included McIntyre’s mother. On top of that, the presiding judge and the prosecutor in the case had a previous romantic relationship, which was not disclosed at the time.

In 2017, McIntyre was finally released from prison after serving more than 2 decades for a crime he didn’t commit. Two years later, he filed a lawsuit against the state of Kansas under their “Compensation for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment” statute, which allows anyone who has been wrongfully convicted to seek compensation from the state.

On Monday, Lamonte McIntyre was awarded more than $1.5 million.

“We are committed to faithfully administering the state’s mistaken-conviction law as the legislature wrote it,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a press release on Monday after the lawsuit was resolved. “We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction.”

Not only was he awarded with money, but McIntyre will also have access to state health care benefits for two years and will receive a tuition waiver if he decides to attend postsecondary school.

Now, McIntyre is also the co-founder of the Miracle of Innocence, an organization that helps others who have been wrongfully convicted. He revealed in an interview last year he doesn’t have any more time to be angry, because enough of his life was already wasted.

“It took too much time from me. That’s just too big of a price to pay. I’d rather just live life,” McIntyre told KMBC. “I don’t have no more time to give something like anger. I don’t have time for it.”

Nothing can fully make up for the time Lamonte McIntyre lost away from his family and friends, but it’s still nice to see justice being served after all these years

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