December 31st, 2017 at 6 am
The Rime Buddhist center will host the 33rd Annual World Peace Meditation, an interfaith gathering on December 31, at 6:00 a.m. (*please arrive by 5:30 a.m.). The program will consist of religious observances from various cultures and faith traditions including Native American smudging, Tibetan Buddhist chanting and meditation, Christian prayer, devotional music, and the Muslim “call to prayer.”
Members of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council will offer a prayer for peace from each of their faith traditions. A highlight of the event will be the presentation of the Bodhisattva Award. Our award this year will be given to the Midwest Innocence Project. The Keynote Speaker is Lamonte Mcintyre.
The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation, and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in a five-state region. The Midwest Innocence Project was founded in 2001 through the UMKC School of Law and is part of the national Innocence Network. In addition to their partnerships with law schools at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and Columbia and the University of Kansas, they also work in conjunction with the Nebraska Innocence Project, and Iowa Public Defender’s Wrongful Conviction Division.
Lamonte McIntyre, a recent exoneree from Kansas City, Kansas, spent 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
On April 15, 1994, Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn were shot in broad daylight while sitting in their car. Lamonte McIntyre, then only seventeen years old, was with his aunts and cousins in another part of town when the shooting occurred. Lamonte did not know the victims and had no connection to them.
The investigation was hasty and superficial—police spent less than 20 minutes interviewing witnesses. McIntyre was wrongfully convicted of the double-homicide and sentenced to two life terms in 1995. No physical evidence ever linked Mr. McIntyre to the crime, he did not know the victims, the State presented no evidence of motive, no weapon was found linking McIntyre to the victims, and no requests were made for search warrants of Lamonte’s home, person, or clothing.
On October 13, 2017, Lamonte was released from prison after Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree halted the evidentiary hearing telling the court that a “fundamental miscarriage of justice” had occurred and moved to dismiss all charges against Mr. McIntyre. Lamonte walked from the courthouse a free man. The law enforcement misconduct in his case captured local and national media attention.
While incarcerated, Lamonte was the resident barber at Lansing Correctional Facility for many years, and last fall, after his release, he obtained his barber license. Lamonte works at Headlines Barber Academy and will begin college at Penn Valley Community College in January 2019. Lamonte spends his time with his wife, Corisha, their children, and his family. He is active in his church and travels near and far to speak to lawyers, law students, and civic groups about his harrowing experience with the hope that it inspires and motivates changes in our justice system. To learn more: Rick Tulsky of Injustice Watch did a comprehensive series on Lamonte’s fight for freedom that was featured in the New York Times. Read it here: A Broken System
Highlights from a previous years celebration.