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Screenwriter Tennessee man gets $1M after 31 years in prison

NASHVILLE, Tennessee. – A Tennessee man who spent 31 years in prison before new DNA evidence led to his 1978 rape and burglary convictions being overturned has been awarded $1 million in damages.

The Tennessean reports that the Tennessee Board of Claims unanimously Wednesday to award the amount in 61-year-old Lawrence McKinney, which was released in 2009.

McKinney will receive $353,000 to cover legal costs, debts and the costs of a vehicle. The remaining money will fund a monthly annuity guaranteed for 10 years.

Secretary of state Tre Hargett says that the sum is not necessarily satisfactory, but the maximum amount that the council could give.

Gov. Bill Haslam had granted McKinney, an executive acquittal in December, clearing the way for him to demand compensation.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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