Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Shelby County Man Convicted of Rape, Burglary Exonerated

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 1:33 PM


A man who was convicted of rape and burglary in 1978 in a Shelby County criminal court was officially exonerated Wednesday by Gov. Bill Haslam after new DNA evidence was discovered.

Modern testing methods showed that the DNA evidence from the scene did not match that of Lawrence McKinney who was sentenced to a total of no less than 110 years in prison for both crimes.

But, in 2009, after spending 30 years in incarceration, McKinney’s crimes were vacated when a Tennessee criminal court found that the new DNA evidence “excludes McKinney as the person responsible for the crimes charged.”

The court also said that if the newly-discovered DNA evidence had been available at the time of the initial indictments, there would have been no cause to prosecute McKinney.

Since 1989, a total of 26 people have been exonerated in Tennessee, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Among those 26 individuals, a sum of 230 years were spent in incarceration.

Eighteen of the 26 exonerations were after bad forensic evidence was discovered.Three of the 26 were convicted of murder and were awaiting the death penalty.

Nationwide, there have been 2,130 exonerations since 1989. Texas has had the most with 332 exonerations, 15 percent of the national total.

click to enlarge Nationwide exonerations by year and type of crime - NATIONAL REGISTRY OF EXONERATIONS
  • National Registry of Exonerations
  • Nationwide exonerations by year and type of crime

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