NASHVILLE — Lawrence McKinney, who was recently exonerated by Governor Bill Haslam for wrongfully being imprisoned, met with the governor on Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Also present at the meeting were McKinney’s wife Dorothy, Pastor John Hunn of Immanuel Baptist Church, Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) and Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon).
Sen. Pody and McKinney’s pastor, John Hunn of Immanuel Baptist Church, kept the case in the public eye with continuous attempts to bring justice to the case. This includes legislation sponsored by Pody calling for automatic exoneration in cases like McKinney’s where the conviction was overturned and imprisonment was over 25 years.
“It was a very a surreal moment and an answer to the prayers of many in our community,” said Sen. Pody, regarding the meeting. “I was very pleased that the governor met with us and appreciate his action to help bring justice to this case.”
Although McKinney was released from prison in 2009, without full exoneration by the Tennessee Board of Paroles or the governor, he could not apply for compensation from the Tennessee Board of Claims.
“It was a great injustice that Mr. McKinney could not apply for restitution after suffering wrongful imprisonment for so many years for an act he did not commit and for which he was declared innocent by a court of law,” added Pody. “Hopefully, this will help him heal from the injustice he suffered for so many years.”
PHOTO: L to R Pastor John Hunn, Representative Clark Boyd, Senator Mark Pody, Dorothy McKinney, Lawrence McKinney and Governor.