News 09.02.10

Governor Removes Ohio Man From Death Row, Reduces Sentence (Updated)

[Updated 9/2/10 at 4:07 p.m.: This afternoon Ohio Governor Strickland commuted the death sentence of Kevin Keith, who was convicted of shooting and killing three people in an Ohio apartment in 1994.  In a statement issued today, Gov. Strickland said: 

“Despite the evidence supporting his guilt and the substantial legal review of Mr. Keith’s conviction, many legitimate questions have been raised regarding the evidence in support of the conviction and the investigation which led to it. In particular, Mr. Keith’s conviction relied upon the linking of certain eyewitness testimony with certain forensic evidence about which important questions have been raised. I also find the absence of a full investigation of other credible suspects troubling.



Clearly, the careful exercise of a governor’s executive clemency authority is appropriate in a case like this one, given the real and unanswered questions surrounding the murders for which Mr. Keith was convicted. Mr. Keith still has appellate legal proceedings pending which, in theory, could ultimately result in his conviction being overturned altogether.”


Read the full statement from Gov. Strickland as it appears in the Lancaster Eagle Gazette here

.]

Two weeks shy of Kevin Keith’s scheduled execution, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, today, removed him from death row and reduced his sentence to life without parole despite the parole board’s 8-0 vote to execute him.


The Innocence Network

was among a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals who called on Strickland to grant clemency in the case.  Last month, Innocence Network President Keith Findley wrote a letter to Strickland pointing to strong evidence of Keith’s innocence and over 10,000 people signed a petition urging the governor and parole board for a reprieve.

Keith was convicted of shooting and killing three people in an Ohio apartment in 1994. He was convicted based in part on questionable eyewitness identification evidence, and key details were never shared with defense attorneys.

Gov. Strickland’s decision helped save the life of a man who may very well be innocent.

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