This Kansas Man Was Wrongfully Imprisoned For 23 Years And Has Received No Compensation From State
By Susan Johnes
A 2017 report compiled by CNN shows that a vast majority of wrongfully convicted individuals are people of color which raises more questions about the fundamentals of American’s criminal justice.
Believe it or not, Lamonte McIntyre was exonerated for a double murder and had to spend 23 years of his life behind bars. However, in October, he walked out of a Kansas prison with a clean record – but without any compensation, reports CBS News’ Dean Reynolds.
Kansas is among the 18 states that offer wrongfully convicted prisoners no compensation at all upon their release. That raises the question, “Is justice color-coded?” “I think it’s unjust, but by being angry a-bout it won’t change it,” McIntyre said.
Tricia Bushnell who worked to win McIntyre’s release said McIntyre had other reasons to be angry and called this case the “perfect storm.”
For instance, at his trial in 1994 when he was 17, there was no physical evidence or motive presented.
Worse, according to McIntyre’s current lawyers, lead police detective Roger Golubski built the case by threatening witnesses. Bushnell said the fallout might impact other potential exonerations.
The lawyer added there are a dozen more people behind bars whose cases are connected to detective Golubski who has since retired, and said he did nothing wrong.
But Mark Dupree, who became the state’s attorney a year ago, has asked the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to review his conduct. “If my office receives that information and there’s probable cause to charge Mr. Golubski, it will happen,” Dupree said.
He agrees that McIntyre got a raw deal. “He did. And the ex-clusive thing we can do is push forward,” he said. But Lamonte McIntyre is pushing forward, currently studying to be a barber. “I want to spend the rest of my life being happy. I don’t have any more time to give,” he said. The state should compensate the wrongfully convicted individuals because, despite their proven innocence, the difficulty of reentering society can be a bit challenging. The failure to repay such individuals adds insult to injury.
The agony of prison life and the loss of freedom are the horrible feelings of what might have been for the wrongful conviction.
The nightmare does not end upon release. With no money, housing, transportation, health services or insurance, the punishment lingers long after innocence has been proven. That’s why states have a responsibility to restore the lives of the wrongfully convicted to the best of their abilities.