Lamonte McIntyre, a Black man who spent 23 years behind bars for a double homicide that he didn't commit, was awarded $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit for his wrongful conviction, the Kansas State Attorney General's office announced.
"We are committed to faithfully administering the state's mistaken-conviction law as the legislature wrote it," Attorney General Derek Schmidt said via a press release. "In this case, our office worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence identified but not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings. We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute's requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction."
McIntyre was 17 years old when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 1994 murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn.
He was released and exonerated in October 2017.
McIntyre filed a lawsuit against the state last year under its mistaken-conviction statute, which allows those who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned to seek monetary damages from the state.
"The state of Kansas can't give me back the 23 years it took from me," he said in his testimony. "But it can pass this compensation law so I can start my path to a successful future."
Accordingly, the court ordered the following relief for McIntyre, as provided by the mistaken-conviction statute:
- He was granted a Certificate of Innocence.
- Records of his conviction, arrest, and DNA profile record information were ordered expunged.
- He was granted total compensation of $1,553,379.45.
- He was granted counseling.
- He was granted permission to participate in the state health care benefits program for plan years 2020 and 2021.
- He was granted a waiver of tuition and required fees for attendance at a postsecondary educational institution for up to 130 credit hours.