NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Supporters of a man who spent 31 years in prison for a rape he did not commit are demanding that the state of Tennessee pay him what he is legally owed.
On Thursday, Rep. Mark Pody and Sen. Mae Beavers, both Republicans, called on the state Parole Board and Gov. Bill Haslam to do the right thing for Lawrence McKinney.
McKinney, who is now 60, was freed from prison in 2009 after DNA evidence showed he was wrongfully convicted of a 1977 rape and burglary in Memphis.
Under state law, people who are wrongfully imprisoned in Tennessee can be compensated up to $1 million. However, McKinney can't be paid until Haslam officially exonerates him.
A Haslam official did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.