Int US 991 Folder Collection
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To think that our life could come down to just
a roll of the dice, a flip of the cards
I don't think
life should be in somebody's hands
in a government's hands
that can take that away
My name is Ray Krone
and I'm the Director of Communication and Training
with Witness to Innocence.
Back in 1992 I was arrested for the murder of a barmaid
in Phoenix, Arizona, convicted solely
on bite-mark evidence, sent to death row.
And finally in 2002 we had DNA evidence that matched
another man
and I was subsequently released. And he was arrested
for the murder I spent
10 years, 3 months and 8 days in prison for.
A lot of time I start out with actually saying
I used to support the death penalty. I wasn't
Ra Ra Ra, Kill 'em all, but
from where I came from it just seemed acceptable
because it was something on television, it was something in the news
it didn't touch, affect our lives
It was for the worst of the worst. And I was one of those
portrayed as a monster
I was the one that they read about in the paper
or seen on television.
That's the person sentenced to death ...
he's a monster, kill him.
For those of us who were sent to death row wrongfully, that were innocent
we didn't know where it was gonna end
we didn't know when we were gonna get out.
And it wasn't just us, it was our families who were there with us.
We didn't know how it was gonna end. We're just fortunate to be able now
to come out now and tell that story.
What Witness is dedicated to is
abolishment of the death penalty through wrongful conviction
and exonerees telling their stories to the public and to
legislatures in hopes of change, and enlightenment in realizing that our system gets it wrong
and we can't have a penalty that's not reversible.
There's so many moving moments that happen when you go and speak with the public. I was
speaking at a law school nearby and afterwards
a person came up and said, you probably don't remember me
but you spoke to my high school class a few years ago.
It's because of you I went to law school and I want to be a defense
attorney so I can protect
more Ray Krones that are out there.
Before Ray
was arrested
and convicted, and sentenced to death, I'd never thought about the death penalty.
I didn't care about the death penalty, whether they had it or not.
It didn't matter to me.
Now since I've seen what
can happen, and how close
a tragedy can occur
with the legal system the way it is now
I am definitely against the death penalty.
And the possibility of the errors that can be made. We're very fortunate to
have the support from Atlantic Philanthropies. That
funding that they've given us has allowed us to continue
in our ability to speak and bring about public awareness
and of course legislative change
which of course resulted in the abolishment of the death penalty
in New Jersey, New Mexico, and Illinois. The death penalty must be abolished.
The finality of the sentence, the finality of taking of a life
leaves no room for error. But we get it wrong, we make mistakes.
There should be no punishment
that you can't reverse later on. Say I'm sorry I made a mistake. We were wrong.
Because we are human, our justice system is human.
They make mistakes, they get it wrong. Executing an innocent person has
most likely happened and will continue to happen until we do away with the death penalty.
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Ray's Story: A Death Penalty Mistake

991 Folder Collection
阿玟 published on April 26, 2016    brieven translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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