Kenny Richey: Return to Scotland welcomed by campaigners

Amnesty to welcome him home at Edinburgh airport

Amnesty International and other anti-death penalty campaigners are preparing to welcome back to Scotland tomorrow Kenny Richey, the Scottish man who spent nearly 21 years on death row in Ohio, USA.

He is set to return to his native Edinburgh on Wednesday afternoon after being released yesterday. In August Mr Richey, 43, won an appeal against his capital conviction and on Monday he entered a “no contest” plea to reduced charges.

Mr Richey was originally convicted of arson and murder in the state of Ohio and sentenced to death on 27 January 1987. However, he has always vehemently protested his innocence.

Amnesty International’s Scottish Programme Director John Watson said:

“Even for campaigners it’s still only just sinking in that Kenny is now a free man after suffering shoddy justice for the past 21 years.

“Kenny has already said that he’s convinced that other people on death row have suffered terrible injustices and at Amnesty we’re determined to campaign on their cases as well.

“Meanwhile, we wish him every success as he adjusts to life as a free man.”

Mr Richey, who has a Scottish mother and grew up in Edinburgh, was the subject of a longstanding campaign from Scottish anti-death penalty campaigner Karen Torley. Ms Torley said:

“I’ve waited a very long time for this day but always knew that eventually Kenny would come back to Scotland a free man. It’s been an incredibly long fight for justice but it’s finally happened. I’m delighted for Kenny.

“At the end of the day Kenny has an incredibly strong sense of justice and I’m sure he’ll continue to speak out about other people still on death row in the United States. I’ll do all I can to help him with this.”

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