Death Penalty: Death Row Scot Kenny Richey Speaks Out on World Day Against the Death Penalty

Mr Richey, who was convicted of arson and murder in the state of Ohio in 1986 and has been on death row since 1987, has always maintained his innocence. He is presently awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Kenny Richey said:

'Those out there who believe that the death penalty is any kind of deterrent are simply fooling themselves.

'The truth is that the death penalty entirely lacks credibility as a deterrent and, as I can testify, only leads to injustice, suffering and further misery.'

Since his conviction, evidence has emerged casting serious doubt on Mr Richey’s guilt, evidence that appears to have been accepted by the state of Ohio even though it nevertheless intends to press ahead with the execution process.

Amnesty International and the British death penalty charity Reprieve are urging the Ohio state authorities to allow Kenny Richey the opportunity to have this fresh evidence heard. This may mean that his case is re-tried, that he is accorded a new evidentiary hearing or a re-sentencing hearing is allowed.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, who visited Kenny Richey on death row in February this year, said:

'On World Day Against the Death Penalty it is important to say that no-one should have to go through what Kenny Richey has gone through. His 17-year-long ordeal comes after a flawed trial and recurrent concerns about the Ohio justice system.

'Quite simply, Kenny’s is one of the most compelling cases of apparent innocence that human rights campaigners have ever come across.'

Karen Torley, Kenny’s fiancée, added:

'Kenny desperately wants to clear his name and looks to the UK government to do its utmost to support him in this. I will continue to press for justice for Kenny.'

Kenny, who has a Scottish mother and grew up in Edinburgh, is seeking support from the UK government. The government has a policy of opposing the death penalty and recently announced that it would be submitting legal representations to an appeal court in Ohio on Mr Richey’s behalf.

Mr Richey is still awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the 6th Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Cincinatti, which heard his appeal in May 2003. The appeal was one of the last available appeals open to him.

The case has attracted appeals on Mr Richey’s behalf from Pope John Paul II and the former Archbishop of Canterbury. The European Parliament has expressed its doubt concerning the validity of the sentence and Liberal Democrat European justice spokeswoman Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP has called on fellow members of the European Parliament to support a petition to the Ohio State authorities not to execute Mr Richey.

Alistair Carmichael MP (Orkney and Shetland) has also taken up Kenny Richey’s case in the UK parliament.

  • Amnesty International Website Against The Death Penalty ...
  • Visit the 'Reprieve' website ... /li>
  • Find out more about the Kenny Richey Campaign ... /li>

View latest press releases