Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 21, 2018 


We’re covering stories from around the nation including a victory for safety for nuclear site workers; President Trump chastises Republicans for not securing border wall funding; and a predicted spike in population fuels concerns about the need for care.

Daily Newscasts

Coming to Kentucky: Story of Innocence on Death Row

Randy Steidl, who spent 12 years on death row in Illinois for a crime he did not commit, is in Kentucky this week making his plea for the state to abolish capital punishment. (Pat Delahanty)
Randy Steidl, who spent 12 years on death row in Illinois for a crime he did not commit, is in Kentucky this week making his plea for the state to abolish capital punishment. (Pat Delahanty)
November 14, 2016

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – He was innocent, but spent 12 years on death row in Illinois for a 1986 double murder.

Eventually exonerated, Randy Steidl is now on a crusade to ban capital punishment.

Over the next three nights Steidl will speak in Pikeville, Prestonsburg and Whitesburg.

Three days in Kentucky, where execution is still legal, after 17 years – three months and three weeks – behind bars, wrongfully convicted by a system he says is "severely broken."

"Well I'm happy that I'm free,” Steidl states. “I'm happy that I'm able to have an impact on abolishing the death penalty in this country, but I'm still angry as hell.

“They stole a third of my life. I went in at 35, I didn't get out until I was 54. That was the prime of my life and I lost everything."

Steidl says he had an alibi and there was no DNA evidence against him. He blames an attorney he labeled "worthless," alleged witnesses who he says "framed him" and shoddy police work.

In 2011, seven years after he was freed, his home state abolished capital punishment. Now Steidl travels the country as a key voice in the Witness to Innocence project where death row survivors push for abolition.

Details about his trip to Kentucky are available at www.aclu-ky.org.

There have been 156 people exonerated from death row since 1973 in the U.S, including Larry Osborne in Kentucky. Granted a new trial by the Kentucky Supreme Court, he was found not guilty.

A recent poll found that more than 70 percent of Kentuckians are concerned about the possibility of killing an innocent person. Steidl makes this case for a different maximum sentence.

"If you really want to punish a vicious killer, if you really want to make them suffer, you give them life without parole,” he states. “Make them work while they're in prison and make them pay restitution back to the victim's family members. That's true punishment instead of having these endless appeals."

Steidl says that eliminates the risk of killing an innocent person and it saves taxpayer dollars.

"It costs four times as much to try to execute somebody as it does to give somebody life without parole, which is an average of 40 years," he points out.

There are 32 men and one woman awaiting execution in Kentucky, including several who were sentenced to death in the early 1980s.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY