Exonerated Tennessee man seeks $1M after 31 years in prison

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man who spent more than 31 years in prison before new DNA evidence led to his rape and burglary conviction being overturned is asking the state for $1 million in damages.

The Tennessean reports lawyers for 61-year-old Lawrence McKinney of Wilson County filed the request with the state Board of Claims on Thursday.

McKinney’s 1978 conviction in Memphis was overturned in 2009, and he was released from prison. But he couldn’t ask for compensation until Gov. Bill Haslam exonerated him Dec. 20.

It’s typical for exonerated people to apply for and receive money if they served time on an overturned conviction.

McKinney’s lawyers said in the request that other exonerated people have received $37,000 to $71,000 per year of wrongful imprisonment. The legal maximum is $1 million.

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