Local pastor helping organize effort to ensure the wrongly convicted get compensation for time they spend in prison

Jay Senter - February 20, 2018 11:37 am
Aaron Roberts of Colonial Church in Prairie Village.

Colonial Church Pator Aaron Roberts and Kansas City, Kan., native Lamonte McIntyre are about the same age.

But their life experiences the past quarter-century could not have been more different.

Lamonte McIntyre. Photo via Facebook.

As Roberts finished school, got married, started a family and took over leadership of his Prairie Village congregation, McIntyre sat in a prison cell — wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit.

The two met shortly after McIntyre was released from prison after attorney finally succeeded in an eight-year effort to gain him freedom.

“One of the first things that really hit me, that hit me to the soul, was that I thought about everything that’s happened to me the past 23 years,” Roberts said. “I fell in love, started a career, had kids. That was all taken from him.”

Now, Roberts is helping organize an effort among Johnson and Wyandotte County faith leaders to push for a change to Kansas law so that wrongly convicted people will get some compensation for the time the state has taken from them. Under current Kansas law, McIntyre was entitled to no renumeration from a government that imprisoned him without cause.

Roberts announced the group of faith leaders’ intentions to pursue passage of a law at the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equality Public Meeting at All Soul’s Unitarian Church earlier this month.

He said initial response to the group’s efforts in support of a bill that would set a compensation structure for people who have spent time in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. But, Roberts said, Kansas’s budget issues are a hurdle.

“Nobody is going to argue against the principle of this kind of law, it’s just going to be people saying we can’t afford this,” Roberts said. “Those are the political realities it’s going to face.”

Still, the group says change is necessary to correct such injustice.

“He’s got nothing in savings for retirement,” Roberts said. “Nothing in wages to report. Let alone the fact that he missed 23 years of his life.”

Rolling Hills Presbyterian member Jessie Kirkbride gets a very special birthday surprise — from kids a century her junior

Jessie Kirkbride has been a member of the Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church congregation for years. But as she’s gotten older, she hasn’t been able

Display of crosses outside Leawood Baptist commemorates the 194 lives lost to violence in KC area last year

The Kansas City metro area marked a grim milestone in 2017 — and the leaders and parishioners of Leawood Baptist Church want to make

Christ Church Mission moves services to Mission Theatre, will occupy storefront on Johnson Drive

A bit over a year since the congregation began holding services in Mission at the Sylvester Powell, Jr., Community Center, Christ Church Anglican has

Southminster Presbyterian’s Journey to Bethlehem departs tonight, takes attendees through scenes from Christmas story

Most weekends, the halls of Prairie Village’s Southminster Presbyterian church look squarely in line with what you’d expect from a mid-century Protestant house of

Curé of Ars Gift Gallery returns this weekend, benefiting kids charities and scholarship funds

The Curé of Ars Mothers of Young Children Gift Gallery returns this weekend for its 15th year. The annual event features more than 40 artisans

Roeland Park police take report on woman pretending to be nun who demanded placement in convent

Leaders from St. Agnes Catholic Church have contacted Roeland Park police after a woman dressed in nun’s habit became angry at a priest when

City closes purchase of Faith Lutheran, begins planning for demolition, creation of new Prairie Village park

The city of Prairie Village has closed on the $1.1 million purchase of the Faith Lutheran Church property at 67th Street and Roe Avenue, and

Local Presbyterian congregations come together for ‘Be the Church’ day of service

Most Sundays find members of Village Presbyterian Church and other metro Presbyterian congregations in their pews, listening to a sermon and singing hymns. This

Colonial Church dedicates renovated chapel, site of original services when building opened in 1949

Colonial Church in Prairie Village has restored a part of its facilities that harken back to the church’s formative days. The church on Sunday

75 years after first service in Fairway theatre building, Old Mission United Methodist marks major milestone

A congregation that had its first service 75 years ago this month in the old Fairway Theatre building that today is a Houlihan’s restaurant will


Page 1 of 1112345...10...Last »