Wrongfully convicted man exonerated after 30 years

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam officially cleared a man who wrongfully spent decades behind bars.

Wednesday's formal exoneration for Lawrence McKinney means he is now eligible to receive compensation from his wrongful imprisonment in Shelby County from 1978-2009.

McKinney was convicted in the of burglary and rape of a Memphis woman and sentenced to 100 years.

However, DNA testing later determined none of three samples found at the scene were McKinney's.

He was released in 2009 but was not eligible to be compensated for wrongful imprisonment until Wednesday.

"I'm just blessed, it's a Merry Christmas and God put the right people in my life to help me through it," McKinney said.

McKinney's lawyer said he is asking for one million dollars as compensation from the state.

"A million dollars is not enough, no amount of money can compensate what this man went through," his lawyer said.

Despite his 2009 release, it wasn't until WMC Action News 5 investigators got involved in 2014 that his record was expunged.

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