Despite 18 Missing Years, Life Is Good for Wrongfully Convicted Man


DeWayne McKinney has made a fortune as the owner of cash machines on Oahu, Hawaii. Whenever a tourist withdraws cash, McKinney takes a cut. He lives just a few steps from the beach, and he spends his days traversing the island in his black Mercedes-Benz, checking on his ATMs. “Sometimes I pinch myself,” he told the Los Angeles Times. That’s because McKinney was in prison just 5 1/2 years ago, serving life for murder.

He was convicted for a 1980 murder at a Burger King in Orange, Calif., when a witness identified his photo from a collection of mug shots. The prosecutor sought execution, but the jury deadlocked and gave him life without parole. In 1999, two inmates admitted they were involved in the Burger King murder and that McKinney had been wrongly convicted. McKinney was freed after an investigation, and two years later won a $1.7 million settlement against Orange. The Times found that he invested wisely.


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