Kevin Strickland Biography
Kevin Strickland is an African-American gentleman who was wrongly convicted of murdering three people in Kansas City, Missouri, by an all-white jury in 1979. There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime site, and the sole putative witness later recanted her claim that Strickland was involved. Strickland was sentenced to life in prison. e gained global notoriety in 2021 after former prosecutors in his case stated that he was most likely innocent and demanded his release.
Strickland was not involved in the murders, according to two black males who pleaded guilty, and a fingerprint from the shotgun used in the killings belonged to someone else.
Cynthia Douglas, the only eyewitness to the crime, claimed that cops forced her to name Strickland as a suspect. Before her death in 2015, she attempted to retract her testimony multiple times.
Strickland’s exoneration was demanded by a number of legal and political figures. A plea to have him released was refused by the Missouri Supreme Court in June 2021. Missouri Governor Mike Parson refused to pardon him, claiming that his case was not a “priority” and that he was unsure of his innocence. The Missouri Attorney General’s office fought in court to keep him in prison, claiming that he was guilty.
Strickland’s conviction was reversed on November 23, 2021, by Judge James Welsh, “because it was not based on tangible evidence but on eye-witness testimony […], who afterwards recanted her claim,” and Strickland was released the same day. After more than 42 years in jail, he was exonerated, “marking his case Missouri’s longest confirmed wrongful-conviction case.”