Usa, acquitted after 43 years in prison for three murders he did not commit

The longest sentence of an innocent in Missouri

African American inmate Kevin Strickland was acquitted after 43 years in prison of the triple homicide charge of which he had always pleaded not guilty. His case marks the longest detention of an innocent in Missouri history and one of the longest in the entire United States. Strickland, 62, was sentenced to life in prison in 1979 with no possibility of parole for the first 50 years by an all-white jury. His first wishes were to go to his mother’s grave and to see the ocean, which he has never seen.

As the Washington Post recalls, Strickland was convicted of the 1978 murders of Sherrie Black, 22, Larry Ingram, 21, and John Walker, 20. He was sentenced despite no evidence physically connecting him to the crime scene, his family members had provided him with an alibi and admitted witnesses stated that he was not at the crime scene. The case was built on the testimony of Cynthia Douglas, the sole survivor and eyewitness, who later attempted multiple times to retract her testimony by saying she was pressured by the police.

Judge James Welsh ruled that “the conviction must be overturned immediately” and that “in this unique circumstance the Court’s confidence in the Strickland conviction is so undermined that it cannot hold.”