Lamonte McIntyre, a former inmate who served 23 years in prison for a double murder he didn’t commit, will walk out of jail not a penny richer.
States typically pay $50,000 to $80,000 for each year of wrongful conviction however Kansas is one of 18 states required to pay nothing to its citizens who are wrongfully convicted and serve prison time.
Tricia Bushnell, who worked to prove that McIntyre was innocent, told the Kansas City Star that if he were a parolee the state would’ve had to have been much more responsible during his pending release.
“If he came out on probation or parole, (the state) would have to provide him services in finding housing, education, getting his I.D.,” Bushnell, who works for the Innocence Project, said. “They don’t have to give him anything. And, in fact, they haven’t.”
No physical evidence proving Lamonte McIntyre’s guilt was ever presented during his 1994 trial. According to his current lawyers, a reexamination of the case discovered that lead detective Roger Golubski had been threatening witnesses to build his case.
Now retired, Detective Golubski could face misconduct charges. Dozens of people are behind bars due to Golubski’s investigations and all cases are currently being reviewed by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
As for Lamonte McIntyre, he plans on becoming a barber now that he’s free. He was 17 years old when he went in and is now 41. "I want to spend the rest of my life being happy. I don't want to be bitter," he said. "That's taking away from me. I don't have any more time to give."
If he so chooses, McIntyre could sue state officials for violating his civil rights. In particular, he could file against those parties involved in his wrongful conviction, including Detective Golubski.