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Death-Row Exoneree to Share Experience in Live Zoom Event

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Ron Keine is one of 173 people on death rows who since 1973 have been exonerated of all charges related to the wrongful convictions that had condemned them. (Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty)
Ron Keine is one of 173 people on death rows who since 1973 have been exonerated of all charges related to the wrongful convictions that had condemned them. (Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty)
January 11, 2021

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- On Tuesday, Wyomingites will have a chance to hear firsthand how Ron Keine came close to being executed for a crime he didn't commit.

Keine is one of four men convicted - wrongfully - of the kidnapping, rape and murder of a college student in New Mexico in 1974.

Kylie Taylor directs Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty's Wyoming chapter. She said it's important for people to hear Keine's experience as an innocent man living on death row in his own voice.

"As long as we have the death penalty as a law on the books, the risk of executing an innocent person will always exist," Taylor said. "And I think that hearing Ron's story will make that real for a lot of people."

In July, Gov. Mark Gordon said he'd consider a death-penalty moratorium, in part due to the price tag - roughly $750,000 per year, even with no one on death row. Death penalty proponents have argued it's an important crime deterrent and provides justice and closure for victims' families.

To sign up for the Zoom event, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, visit ConservativesConcerned.org.

Taylor said numerous studies have shown the death penalty is not an effective deterrent. She said she can only imagine the hurt and anger families feel, but pointed to victims' families working to end the death penalty who have reported the drawn-out process did not produce a sense of justice or peace.

"And they have said going through the trial and the appeal process and everything that it puts them through is a continuous cycle of trauma," she said.

Keine and co-defendents were sentenced to death, and were only exonerated after an investigation by The Detroit News found false testimony in a key piece of evidence. Keine, a self-described lifelong conservative Republican, is also expected to explain why he doesn't trust government with the authority to execute its own citizens.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY