Ray Krone, 100th Death Row Exoneree, Speaks At Lee Tuesday

Friday, April 05, 2013

Ray Krone, the nation’s 100th death row exoneree, will share his story of being convicted of and sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Rose Lecture Hall (EDU 114) at Lee University.  

Rev. Stacy Rector, director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, will also reflect on the problems with Tennessee’s current death penalty system that lead to the possibility of wrongful convictions. This event is co-sponsored by Lee University’s Sociology Club, Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and Witness to Innocence.

Mr. Krone was an Air Force sergeant and later a mail carrier before finding himself on Arizona’s death row for the 1991 murder of Kim Ancona. The case against him was based largely on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of an “expert” witness who claimed bite marks found on the victim matched Mr. Krone’s teeth. In 1992, he was sentenced to death. He was granted a retrial in 1994 only to be convicted again because of the same evidence. In 2002, Mr. Krone became the 100th person exonerated when a court found that DNA at the murder scene pointed to another man, Kenneth Phillips.

Mr. Krone currently serves as the director of Membership and Training at Witness to Innocence, the nation’s only organization composed of, by, and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. Mr. Krone has also recently moved to Tennessee. He devotes his life to improving the criminal justice system that failed him by speaking to hundreds of groups, including numerous universities and law schools across the country, as well as to state legislatures and governmental bodies in England, Sweden, Italy and France. He has been featured in publications and on many radio and television programs, including People and Parade magazines, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America.

“I would not trust the state to execute a person for committing a crime against another person,” Mr. Krone says. “I know how the system works.  It’s not about justice or fairness or equality.  Any chance I can, whether I start with one or two people or a whole auditorium filled with people, I’ll tell them what happened to me. Because if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.”

In 2011, Gussie Vann became Tennessee’s third death row exoneree when all charges against him for the 1992 murder of his daughter were dropped. Mr. Vann joins Paul House and Michael McCormick, both who fought their wrongful convictions in Tennessee for over 20 years, before new evidence—including DNA—finally led to their release from death row.  Rev. Rector states, “Since the risk of executing an innocent person was one of the reasons that members of the Maryland legislature cited when they recently voted to repeal Maryland’s death penalty, this opportunity for Tennesseans to hear Krone’s story is timelier that ever.”


Jin In Tells GPS Students They Are A Force For Change

GPS girls were encouraged to see themselves as a powerful force for change on Tuesday during a Lunchtime Learning presentation by Jin In, the founder of 4GGL, a non-profit that partners with community organizations and schools worldwide to train and mentor girls in the poorest countries of the world.  With a vision of “a world where every girl is valued and supported to ... (click for more)

Bryan Community Choirs To Hold Auditions

Bryan's community choirs will be holding auditions Aug. 25 and 28. Area students in grades 4-12 are invited to audition for the Bryan College Community Children’s Choir (grades 4-8) or Youth Choir (grades 9-12) for the coming 2014-2015 academic year. Children’s Choir auditions will take place Monday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. in the chorale room of Rudd Auditorium.  Youth Choir ... (click for more)

5 Hamilton County Schools Designated As Priority Schools, 3 As Focus Schools

Five Hamilton County Schools have been designated as Priority Schools and three as Focus Schools. Priority Schools are the five percent of schools across the state with the lowest overall performance. Those from Hamilton County are Brainerd High School, Dalewood Middle School, Orchard Knob Elementary School, Orchard Knob Middle School and Woodmore Elementary School. Focus ... (click for more)

Teen Shot Twice On Wilson Street; He Won't Help Police

A teen who was shot twice on Wilson Street shortly after midnight said he would not help police. At approximately 12:08 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a call of a person shot at 1812 Wilson St. Chattanooga Police officers and EMS located Nathaniel Williams, 18, suffering from two non-life threatening gunshot wounds.  The victim was transported to Erlanger Hospital ... (click for more)

The Truth About Justice

The rallying cry in Ferguson Missouri has been "justice for Michael Brown." The question is what is justice? Justice is that the facts of the case are investigated thoroughly and regardless of the outcome of that investigation the family and friends of Michael Brown along with the citizens of Ferguson and this country need to accept the outcome no matter what it reveals.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves) has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)