USA: Kenny Richey case - Appeal Court decision welcomed for death row Scot

Amnesty International UK today welcomed a new opportunity for a Scottish man on death row in the USA to clear his name.

Yesterday the 6th Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Cincinnati asked to re-hear parts of Kenny Richey’s case and reconsider some of the evidence that has led to Mr Richey spending nearly 20 years on death row.

Mr Richey, who has a Scottish mother and grew up in Edinburgh, has fought a long campaign to clear his name. Kenny Richey’s lawyers will now have the chance to do this on 25 January 2007 - just two days before the 20th ‘anniversary’ of the handing down of the original death sentence.

Mr Richey was convicted of arson and murder in the state of Ohio in 1986 and sentenced to death on 27 January 1987. He has been on death row since then, but has always protested his innocence. Evidence has since emerged casting serious doubt on Mr Richey’s guilt.

Amnesty International Scotland Programme Director Rosemary Burnett said:

“This decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal is hugely welcomed by all of those who have believed that for nearly 20 years Kenny Richey has been denied justice in Ohio.

“This is an opportunity for Kenny’s lawyers to tell his story and persuade the court of the facts.

“Nobody should be sent to the living hell of death row and we have recently expressed concern over Kenny’s deteriorating health. This re-hearing is a vital step - now we want to see a speedy process that will release Kenny as soon as possible.”

For several years Amnesty International has been urging the Ohio state authorities to allow Kenny Richey the opportunity to have fresh evidence heard. It has also been pressing the UK government to keep up pressure on the US authorities in line with the government’s policy of opposing the death penalty in all instances.

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