Kevin Strickland

  • County of Conviction: Jackson County, MO
  • Convicted of: Three counts of first degree murder
  • Sentence: Life without parole
  • Years Served: 43+

When Kevin Strickland first went to prison in 1979, gas was 86 cents a gallon, Jimmy Carter was still president, and the first Star Trek movie had just made its debut. 


For more than four decades, Kevin has remained in prison for a crime he did not commit, as the outside world continues to evolve, decade by decade, without him. 


What’s remained unchanged, though, is Kevin’s actual innocence.


Even the prosecutor’s office that originally sent him to prison in 1979 agrees: Kevin did not commit the 1978 triple murder in Kansas City for which he was convicted. Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker has joined in calling for his release.


Still, Kevin waits for justice. 


He was convicted by an all-white jury, based largely on the mistaken eyewitness identification from the lone survivor of the crime, Cynthia Douglas. She has since recanted her testimony and has called for Kevin’s release, too. 


Kevin’s innocence is also supported by sworn statements from the true perpetrators, who have named the individual for whom Kevin was mistaken. 


And despite everyone agreeing that Kevin’s conviction was a grave misjustice, he still sits in prison today. He has served 42 years for something he did not do and has missed over half his life waiting for justice. 


When will his innocence be enough for freedom in the state of Missouri? 


Hallmarks of wrongful conviction present in this case: 


  • Unreliable eyewitness identification
  • Systemic racism


Further reading on Kevin’s case: 



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