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

Friday, April 5, 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.”


Mitchell Tolle Hosts Workshop For Lee Art Students

Internationally known American artist, Mitchell Tolle, hosted a Watercolor Portrait workshop for 15 Lee University art students.  “Tolle inspires our student artists to take their art practice to the next level,” said Mary Mathias-Dickerson, assistant professor of art at Lee.   To prepare for the workshop, students created large pencil drawings on watercolor paper ... (click for more)

2017 Hamilton County Teachers Of The Year Compete At Regional Level

Three Hamilton County Department of Education teachers were recently named as the 2017 Hamilton County Teachers of the Year.  Kindergarten teacher, Shellie Gibson from Wallace A. Smith Elementary won for grades K-4, 7 th grade science teacher, Kristin Burrus from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences won for grades 5-8, and 10-12 th grade Chemistry and World Concepts ... (click for more)

Commissioner Boyd Asks County Auditor To Get Detailed Data On Visitors Bureau Spending

County Commission Finance Committee Chairman Tim Boyd said he is asking County Auditor Jenneth Randall to supply him with details about spending at the Chattanooga Visitors Bureau, including actual credit card and travel expense statements. He said he also wanted copies of contracts for office renovations made to the Suntrust Building 18th floor where the CVB has offices and all ... (click for more)

Erlanger Reports Dramatic Increase In Flu-Like Illnesses

The number of influenza-like illnesses treated at Erlanger Health System shows a dramatic increase compared to this time last year.  Erlanger reported treating 156 patients with flu like illnesses between Feb. 12 and 18 of this year. This represents a significant increase from the seven cases reported during the same week last year and 15 cases reported approximately a month ... (click for more)

Getting The Message

Our school age youth have inspired me with their responses during “Q and A” sessions after my readings as a volunteer during African American History Celebrations and Read across America Celebration, too.  Before this school year, I read to classes at Orchard Knob Elementary School and at Rivermont Elementary School, here in Hamilton County.   Their answers to factual ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Marshall’s 3% Folly

The National Health Interview Survey is believed to be the best gauge of health and behaviors in the United States. It is under the umbrella of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so first let me share that the figures I am going to present are directly attributed to what is the best source believed to be out there. I didn’t make these numbers up and I had nothing ... (click for more)