Lamonte McIntyre was 17 years old when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the double murder of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn. He served 23 years behind bars before being released and exonerated in 2017.
“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,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement. “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.”
According to CNN, last year McIntyre filed a lawsuit against the state of Kansas under its mistaken-conviction statute. Those who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned have the power to seek monetary damages from the state under that law.
“The state of Kansas took away 23 years of my life and has given me nothing to rebuild,” McIntyre said in his 2018 testimony. “The state took away my youth. It took away every birthday and Christmas with my family, and every hard time when they needed me and I couldn’t be there. I missed joyful occasions and I missed sad ones too. I had nieces and nephews born while I was in custody who are young men and women now. I missed their entire childhoods. I was not able to comfort my mother when she buried her father, my beloved grandfather.”
He continued, “The state of Kansas can’t give me back the 23 years it took from me. We have much work to do to make our system more just so what happened to me doesn’t happen to another innocent person. But we can start here. Supporting compensation for the wrongfully convicted should be something we can all agree on.”
On Monday (Feb. 24), McIntyre was awarded $1.5 million to settle his lawsuit for wrongful conviction. In addition to the monetary settlement, McIntyre will receive access to the state’s health care benefits program for two years, a tuition waiver for his college education and counseling. His record will be fully expunged. He is also the co-founder of a nonprofit organization called Miracle of Innocence, which helps others who have been wrongfully convicted.