In Missouri, according to the Innocence Project, only those acquitted through DNA testing are eligible for $50 a day incarceration after conviction. That was not the case for Strickland.
As of Thursday afternoon, donations for Strickland were over $910,000.
The fund was established over the summer with the goal of raising $7,500, which the fund estimates would be about $175 dollars for each year Strickland spent inappropriately.
Thirty-six states and Washington, DC have laws on the books that provide compensation for freedmen, according to the Innocence Project. The federal standard to reimburse those wrongly convicted is a minimum of $50,000 a year incarceration, plus an additional amount for each year spent on death row.
Adjusting to a new world
Strickland said he learned of his release through a breaking news report that interrupted the soap opera he was watching on Tuesday.
The first thing he did after his release was visit his mother’s grave.
“To know that my mom was covered in that dirt and that I hadn’t had a chance to visit her in years…,” Strickland told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday.
His first night out of prison was a restless night, with thoughts of returning to prison keeping him awake, he said on Wednesday.
“I’m used to living in a tight, closed cell where I know exactly what’s going on with me,” he said. “And when I get home and you hear the creaking of the house and the electrical wiring and whatever… I was a little scared. I thought someone was coming for me.’
Convicted as a teenager, acquitted as an adult
Douglas suffered a bullet wound and then told police that Vincent Bell and Kiln Adkins were two of the perpetrators. But she did not identify Strickland, who she knew, as at the scene until a day later, according to KSHB, after it was suggested that Strickland’s hair matched Douglas’ description of the shooter. Douglas claimed her initial failure to identify him was due to the use of brandy and marijuana, according to KSHB.
But for the past 30 years, she says she made a mistake and misidentified Strickland. According to KSHB, Douglas made attempts to free Strickland through the Midwest Innocence Project.
The two attackers she identified at the scene both pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and each had to serve approximately 10 years in prison for the crimes, according to Strickland’s attorney Robert Hoffman.