Tenn. Man Wrongly Imprisoned Says Money Awarded to Him Isn’t Enough

Veronica Graves
Clark McMillan

Clark McMillan, 59, of Memphis, Tenn., was wrongly convicted for the robbery and rape of a 16-year-old girl back in 1980. In 2002, DNA evidence cleared him and he was released from prison. And while he was awarded over $800,000, he says that it hasn't been enough, USA Today reports.

Because of his imprisonment, McMillan has not been able to build job skills or a career.

"I’m treated like I should be glad to have gotten something,” McMillan said. “There has been nothing to cover job training, placement, medical care, post-traumatic stress. Help me restore my dignity so I can get a job. My compensation is controlled by the state, and they dictate what my life is worth."

In 2004 McMillan was awarded $832,950 to compensate him for his time in prison after state lawmakers passed legislation allowing for such awards.

Up front, he received $250,000, with the rest placed in an annuity that pays him around $3,400 a month.

“They did give me something and a lot of people play off that,” McMillan said. “But it’s not mine. I could not make a rational decision of something I had no experience of. The legislators promised they would take care of me. When disagreements arose I felt they closed me off.”


“This man spent 20 years in prison unjustly, and all involved wanted to make this right as best as possible,” said Democratic state Rep. John DeBerry Jr. “A man who was wrongly convicted and locked up 20 years is probably not ready to make those decisions to handle that money.”

McMillan is also a diabetic, as is his wife, and he suffers from paralysis in his right leg from a gunshot wound, which he claims to have received after walking into a shootout involving police.


It's been difficult for him to qualify for subsidized health insurance, he says, because of the income he receives from the annuity.

Read more at USA Today.

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