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Kevin Strickland: ‘I’m not angry, I’m disgusted’

<i>KCTV</i><br/>Kevin Strickland spent 43 years in prison.
Kevin Strickland spent 43 years in prison.


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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV, KSMO) — Kevin Strickland spent 43 years in prison for a Kansas City triple murder he swears he didn’t do.

He was recently freed after Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker took another look at his case.

Her conviction integrity unit concluded a terrible mistake was made.

Strickland is grateful to Baker and his legal team. He has harsh words for the rest of the justice system.

“I’m not angry, I’m just disgusted with the system,” Strickland said. “Angry is a bad word to throw around because when people hear you say you are angry, they expect violence out of you. And I’m not trying to exhibit any violence. So, I’m not angry, I’m disgusted.”

Strickland says he’s grateful to those who have donated to his GoFundMe. It has raised more than $1.7 million.

Strickland doesn’t have access to the money quite yet. His legal team is helping him track down his birth certificate and social security card so he can open a bank account.

Missouri doesn’t offer compensation to wrongly convicted inmates unless they are proven innocent through a specific DNA statute, something advocates say needs to change. While Strickland has been able to raise a generous amount, others like Ricky Kidd raised much less.

It’s unclear if Strickland will live in Kansas City. He wants sunshine and warmer weather. He admits his feelings are now complicated.

“It’s not comfortable but it’s home. You know? I mean, this is like, I guess walking in your home and seeing your floor is dirty. You know, you got to clean it up. You know, you’re disgusted by it, but that’s where you live it. You know, if it makes any sense to you. I’m disgusted with Kansas City, but I’m appreciative of them too now,” Strickland said.

Strickland has had a whirlwind experience since his release. He recently toured Kaufman Stadium and turned on the lights for the Mayor’s Christmas tree. He’s done numerous interviews.

“I’m honored to be honored. But I’m honored for losing my life. I’m doing these things but I lost my life,” Strickland said.

Strickland says he’s struggling to get used to cars that talk and navigate drivers. He’s learning to use a cell phone but says it’s difficult to text because his hands shake from nerves. Something he blames on his time in prison.

Strickland says he’d like some cassette tapes to help him capture all of his new memories. Those have been tough to find.

The Midwest Innocence Project represents Kevin Strickland.

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