Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ray Krone: Five years of freedom

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since Ray Krone of York County became the 100th person exonerated after spending time on death row in this country. In that time, Ray has become a prominent speaker against the death penalty and for criminal justice reform. He's also become a great friend to those of us working on these issues

Our local NPR affiliate, WITF-FM, featured Ray on yesterday's broadcast:
Midstate man released from AZ death row fights PA capital punishment 04/25/2007
Tim Lambert/Radio Pennsylvania
(Philadelphia) -- A midstate man who spent time on death row in Arizona before being exonerated is lending his support to the effort to change the Commonwealth's death penalty policy. Ray Krone of Dover Township, York County, is backing the Pennsylvania Death Penalty Moratorium Coalition's latest call for a moratorium on capital punishment in the state. Since he was freed from prison in April 2002 through DNA testing, Krone has spent his time talking about his personal experiences and speaking out against the death penalty.

Ray Krone (MP3)

Advocates for the moratorium say it's unacceptable to even run the risk of executing an innocent person. The coalition says six people in Pennsylvania have been exonerated in the years since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. Currently, there are some 220 people on death row in the state.

The Pennsylvania Moratorium Coalition is a newly-formed collaboration of 15 organizations from the Commonwealth who are urging the creation of a study commission on the death penalty, accompanied by a two-year suspension of executions. The ACLU of PA is proud to be one of those 15 members. We have a lot of work to do.

One question I've heard about this campaign is this: Why now? I answer this question with two questions of my own: Why not now? And if not now, when?

Andy in Harrisburg


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