Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Kenneth Richey

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has granted Kenny Richey a new trial. The Sixth Circuit called Richey's original defense "incompetent" and indicated that his numerous failed appeals were "injustices." Richey was convicted in 1987 for setting a fire that killed a two year old girl. He has been on death row in Ohio ever since.

There is a possibility that Richey is innocent. He will now get a new trial and the prosecution will be held to its burden a second time (this time presumably, Richey will have a sufficient and even zealous defense). If Richey is found not-guilty, it will mean that the State of Ohio has held a foreign national on death row for almost twenty years in connection with a crime for which he could not be proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The state has 90 days to decide whether to retry Richey. If it chooses not to retry him, it will have to release him.

Richey is a native of Scotland and a British citizen (he holds dual citizenship with the United States). Members of the British Parliament have been up in arms about Richey's death sentence and have pleaded with the governor of Ohio to save Richey's life. Of course, the UK does not have a death penalty. Imagine that...

UK Man Granted New Trial in Ohio Arson Murder (Reuters)

Death Row Briton's Conviction Overturned (The Independent)

As a side note, the differences in the two articles linked above are quite telling.

For more information on media coverage of this case, see the NCADP blog.

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