No compensation for Lamar Johnson, Innocence Project launches fundraiser

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:04 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Lamar Johnson spent 28 years in prison for a murder he swears he did not do. He’ll now have the huge task of rebuilding his life.

Many states offer compensation. In Missouri, it’s very limited and Lamar Johnson will not qualify because the case did not hinge on DNA.

“In Missouri. That ability is really just non-existent so Missouri does not provide compensation for individuals who are wrongfully convicted, unless they’re exonerated through a very specific procedure in which that person is requesting DNA testing and that DNA testing leads to evidence that proves their innocence,” explained Tricia Rojo Bushnell with the Midwest Innocence Project.

The Midwest Innocence Project has launched a GoFundMe to help.

ALSO READ: Lamar Johnson’s murder conviction vacated

Exoneree, Kevin Strickland also turned to crowdfunding when he was released after 43 years in prison. People in Kansas City and across the nation donated more than $1.7 million to help him.

Strickland said he was grateful for the support and expected to be homeless upon his release.

Other states, like Kansas, have clear compensation packages for those wrongfully convicted. Kansas offers $65,000 per year. Meaning Johnson would have received $1.82 million.

Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions, according to the Innocence Project. It’s a factor in 69% of all exonerations including Lamar Johnson’s case.