Man Who Spent 42 Years in Prison for Triple Murder to Be Released after Being Found Innocent
A prison inmate Kevin Strickland spent 42 years of his life behind bars for a triple murder charge and has been recently found innocent for heinous crimes.
The Jackson County Prosecutor calls for Kevin Strickland to be released from prison after doing time for four decades. The County held a press conference with his attorneys on Monday regarding his wrongful conviction. JCP Jean Peters Baker said in a statement:
“All those who have reviewed the evidence in recent months agree – Kevin Strickland deserves to be exonerated. This is a profound error we must correct now.”
Held at the Downtown Kansas City Courthouse, Baker joined his lawyers and detailed how his wrongful conviction became known and why they wanted him released.
Earlier that day, Tricia Rojo Bushnell and Robert J. Hoffman filed a petition pleading with the Missouri Supreme Court to order his immediate release.
A review found that the case against Strickland relied extensively on the testimony of a woman who witnessed the murders. The prosecutors concluded that the witness, now deceased, genuinely wished to recant her identification of Strickland at trial.
Baker, along with Chief Deputy, stated in their letter to Strickland's attorneys that keeping him in prison on a jury verdict who did not learn about the damaging evidence brought forward serves no conceivably just purpose.
Strickland was 18 years old when the survivor of the attack in a Kansas City home that killed others – John Walker, Larry Ingram, and Sherrie Black – said he was involved in the shooting incident in 1978.
The witness, Cynthia Douglas, sustained a gunshot wound in her leg and said she survived by playing dead at the scene. Immediately after the shooting, she named two other suspects, Kilm Adkins and Vincent Bell, who pleaded guilty.
Strickland’s attorneys said prosecutors purposefully excluded Black people from serving on a jury that convicted him. They divulged the prosecutors did not need to give a reason – to remove the only four Black potential jurors from serving his murder trial.
Because of the prosecution's "racially motivated" case, Strickland's fate was decided by an all-white jury during a trial overseen by a white judge and white lawyers.
Philips was 26 years old when he was sentenced to life in 1972. According to CNN, he planned to kill the person who framed him and wrote a poem detailing the events during that time.