A Missouri man who served 43 years in prison wrongfully convicted will receive public help to restart his life

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Kevin Strickland, 62, a Missouri man who served 43 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and was released Tuesday, will receive more than $900,000 from donations online. The Midwest Innocence Project created a GoFundMe account to help Strickland restart his life. Strickland, from a wheelchair, spoke shortly after he was released from jail Tuesday afternoon. The first thing he did after his release was visit his mother’s grave. „Being home and you hear the creaks of the home settling and the electrical wiring and whatever else … I was kind of afraid. I thought somebody was coming to get me,” he confessed after the first night out of prison. Strickland was convicted in 1979 of one count of capital murder and two counts of second-degree murder in a triple homicide. He received a 50-year life sentence without the possibility for parole for a crime that, over the years, he maintained he had not been involved in. The only survivor of the crime, Cynthia Douglas, who died in 2015, testified in 1978 that Strickland was at the scene of the triple murder. For the past 30 years, she has been saying that she made a mistake and falsely identified Strickland and made efforts to free him through the Midwest Innocence Project. Now, all criminal counts against Strickland were dismissed by Senior Judge James Welsh.

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Strickland thanked the judge for reviewing all the “non evidence” against him and he appreciated the judge taking his time to listen and understand what really happened in 1978. He plans to do some of the things he has never had the chance to experience given the fact that he has remained incarcerated since he was a teenager.He hopes to someday soon see the ocean, he said.The release of Strickland has caught international attention as he is among the longest serving wrongfully convicted prisoners in U.S. history.