Kevin Strickland, the longest-serving inmate who was wrongly convicted, was released from a Missouri prison last week after being incarcerated for 43 years. Strickland, 62, was convicted of killing three people in Kansas City when he was 18 years old. No physical evidence linked him to the scene of the crime and the only witness later recanted her testimony saying she was pressured by police. Two men who pled guilty to the murders said Strickland was not involved.
Calls for Strickland’s release began after an investigation by the Kansas City Star in September 2020, prompting prosecutors to review the case. Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker later published a letter saying she believed he was innocent and should be released. Governor Mike Parson, Attorney General Eric Schmidt, and the Missouri Supreme Court turned down his requests for release. Jean Peters Baker then coordinated a three-day hearing to present the case for the reversal of Strickland's conviction. On November 23, 2021, retired Judge James Welsh overturned his conviction and ordered him released the same day.
Strickland will not get any compensation from the state because it only provides funds for people exonerated through DNA evidence. The Innocence Project has set up a GoFundMe page for Strickland. To date, it has raised more than $1.7 million in donations.