Man granted exoneration hearing after prison release

LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) – A Wilson County man who has been seeking a formal exoneration after being released from prison has been granted a hearing before the Tennessee Board of Parole.

The Tennessean reports that the board granted 60-year-old Lawrence McKinney a hearing on Sept. 27.

McKinney served 31 years in prison after being found guilty of rape. He was released from prison in 2009 after DNA evidence proved his innocence. McKinney’s record was expunged after his release, but he was never exonerated. A formal exoneration would allow him to file for compensation.

The parole board reviews exoneration applications and makes a recommendation to the governor. The governor ultimately decides whether to grant exoneration.

State Rep. Mark Pody says McKinney will have a good legal representation in the hearing.