State to pay $6 million to wrongfully incarcerated man

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The state of Connecticut will pay $6 million to Kenneth Ireland, a man jailed 21 years for a crime he did not commit.

“Nothing can make up for the time,” said Ireland. “The award does, you know, make it so I can plan a future.”

According to a release, the state’s compensating Ireland for that lost time, awarding him $2.5 million for loss of liberty and enjoyment of life, $1.5 million for loss of earning and earning capacity, $300,000 for loss of reputation, $1.5 million for physical and mental injuries, and $200,000 for costs and expenses.

“I did a lot of reading, a lot of studying and I’m a big fan of history,” said Ireland. “All of the different places I’ve read about, I would just love to go and visit and see and experience them first hand.”

In August 1988, Ireland was arrested for raping and murdering Barbara Pelkey. In 1989, he was convicted of those crimes. That conviction was overturned when DNA testing ruled Ireland out as the perpetrator. In August 2009, all charges against Ireland were dismissed and he was released from prison.

The state says the person who actually raped and killed Pelkey was convicted in March 2012.

Ireland currently works as a member of the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles. He says he has no plans to quit his job.

To see the state’s full decision on Kenneth Ireland’s compensation claim, click here.

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