Kansas Man Who Spent 23 Years In Prison For Wrongful Conviction Awarded $1.5 Million
A man who spent 23 years in prison for a double homicide he didn’t commit has now been awarded $1.5 million in his wrongful conviction lawsuit.
Lamonte McIntyre was just 17 years old when he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn in 1994.
After 8,583 days spent behind bars, Lamonte was exonerated in October 2017 after the Wyandotte County court reviewed his case. Lamonte was 41 years old at the time of his release, having spent more than half his life behind bars.
In 2019, Lamonte filed a lawsuit against the state of Kansas under the mistaken-conviction statute, a law which had been passed the year before.
This statute permits those who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned to seek monetary damages from the state. Lamonte gave testimony in support of this measure before a state Senate committee in 2018.
On February 24, the attorney general’s office resolved the lawsuit, reaching an agreed resolution of a mistaken-conviction lawsuit.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt said:
We are committed to faithfully administering the state’s mistaken-conviction law as the legislature wrote it.
In this case, our office worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence identified but not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings.
We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction.
As well as compensation totalling $1,553,379.45, Lamonte was granted counselling, a Certificate of Innocence, and permission to participate in a state health care benefits program for the years 2020 and 2021.
Lamonte also had tuition and attendance fees at a postsecondary educational institution waived for up to 130 credit hours. He had paid for his college education while in prison out of his own pocket.
Records of Lamonte’s conviction, arrest and any DNA profile record information will now be expunged, allowing him to move forward with his life.
Speaking about the devastating effect this wrongful conviction has had on his life, Lamonte made the following comments in his testimony:
The state of Kansas took away 23 years of my life and has given me nothing to rebuild. The state took away my youth. It took away every birthday and Christmas with my family, and every hard time when they needed me and I couldn’t be there.
I missed joyful occasions and I missed sad ones too. I had nieces and nephews born while I was in custody who are young men and women now. I missed their entire childhoods. I was not able to comfort my mother when she buried her father, my beloved grandfather.
Following his release from prison, Lamonte founded Miracle of Innocence, a non-profit organisation which works to help those who have been wrongfully convicted.
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Attorney General Derek Schmidt
Miracle of Innocence