Thousands of people are raising money online for a Missouri man who served 43 years in prison for a felony.

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Kevin Strickland, 62, was exonerated Tuesday morning after serving for decades at the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri. Strickland was convicted in 1979 of a triple murder with one count of capital murder and two counts of second-degree murder. He received a sentence of 50 years to life without the possibility of parole for a crime he said he was not involved in.

Senior Judge James Welsh dismissed all criminal cases against Strickland. According to The National Registry of Exonerations, his release is the longest wrongful imprisonment in Missouri history and one of the longest in the country.

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The Midwest Innocence Project created a GoFundMe account to help Strickland start her life again, because she doesn’t qualify for help from the state of Missouri.

According to the Innocence Project, in Missouri, only those exonerated through DNA testing are eligible for a sentence of US$50 per day per day. Not so for Strickland.

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As of Thursday afternoon, donations to Strickland topped US$910,000.

The fund was created with the goal of raising US$7,500 over the summer, which the fund says will amount to approximately US$175 each year Strickland has wrongly blamed for spending.

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. have laws on the books offering compensation for exoneration, according to the Innocence Project. The federal standard to compensate those who have been wrongfully convicted is imprisonment of at least US$50,000 per year, plus an additional amount for each year spent on the death penalty.

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 to visit his mother’s grave.

“Knowing that my mom was under all that shit and I haven’t had a chance to go with her in years past… I revisited the tears I shed when he told me I was guilty of a crime. Which I didn’t do,” Strickland told CNN’s Brianna Keeler on Wednesday.

He said on Wednesday that his first night out of prison was restless, with thoughts of returning to prison keeping him awake.

“I’m used to being in a close, confined cell where I know what’s happening to me there,” he said. “And being home and you hear house settlers and electrical wires and anything else… I was a little scared. I thought someone was coming to pick me up.”

Convicted as a juvenile, acquitted as an adult

According to CNN affiliate KSHB, on April 25, 1978, four people were shot in Kansas City, Missouri, resulting in three deaths. The sole survivor of the crime, Cynthia Douglas, who died in 2015, testified in 1978 that Strickland was at the scene of the triple murder.

Douglas sustained a shotgun injury and then told police that Vincent Bell and Kill Adkins were the two criminals. But according to KSHB, Strickland, whom she knew, was present at the scene until a day later, after suggesting Strickland’s child shooter matched Douglas’ description, not identifying Strickland. Douglas claimed that his initial failure to identify him was due to his use of cognac and marijuana, according to KSHB.

But for the past 30 years she has been saying that she made a mistake and misidentified Strickland. According to KSHB, Douglas made efforts to liberate Strickland through the Midwest Innocence Project.

According to Strickland’s attorney, Robert Hoffman, the two attackers he identified both pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and each served nearly 10 years in prison for the crimes.