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Federal jury awards Tulsa man damages over his wrongful imprisonment

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Big money for a Tulsa man wrongfully convicted of kidnapping and rape. A federal jury awards Arvin McGee $14.5-million in his lawsuit against the city of Tulsa.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims sat down with McGee Thursday.

Arvin says he walked out of prison almost four years ago, after DNA evidence proved he did not kidnap and rape a woman in 1987. McGee told the News on 6, he didn't feel he had justice until he got this verdict. “Relief, finally I have a jury to believe me after three trials, relief."

It's a long time coming for a man who has been through so much. A federal jury decided that the city of Tulsa should pay McGee $1-million, for each year he spent behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. “Eight people had compassion to do the right thing and they done it and I wish I could meet every last one of them and shake their hands."

Arvin McGee was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in 1987. It took 14 years, for the system to figure out he didn't do it. He walked out of prison in February of 2002, after DNA proved he couldn't have committed the crimes.

Arvin’s brother Calvin McGee: "he never experienced, when he went in he was 24 or 25, he never experienced the prime of his life." “It’s hard ya know sleepless nights, its difficult to think about, its just one day at a time, baby steps."

McGee says it’s the simple things in life, like watching his 2-year-old daughter take her first steps that have mattered most. As for the money, he can only think of two things he really wants to do. “Me and my members of my church I gonna build a church and then take care of my family that stood by me. Church and family that's all I can think about."

Of course, this isn't completely over, the city has a right to appeal the decision. But Arvin McGee and his lawyer say they're not worried.

McGee told the News on 6, he's considering writing a book.
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