Exoneree Believes Faith Saved Him: Advocates Rise Against Death Penalty

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LIMA — Kwame Ajamu, Derrick Jamison and Ray Krone are just four of hundreds of people across the United States who have been declared innocent while on death row. An exonerated thinks his faith saved his life.

Jamison was sentenced to life after a false murder charge. After years of a stay on his execution, a federal judge has called for a new trial for Jamison. He was declared innocent because the prosecutor withheld key evidence from his trial. Jamison was released from prison on October 25, 2005, exactly 20 years after he entered.

“My mom always taught me ‘when the going gets tough, pray,'” Jamison said. “I prayed a lot for myself, my friends and my family and you know it really worked out.”

A non-profit organization known as Witness to Innocence was founded to share the testimonies of exonerated people like Jamison’s.

WTI was established in 2003 by Sister Helen Prejean, an anti-death penalty activist, and Ray Krone, the 100th person released from death row in the United States.

The two lawyers have now joined many other exonerated in denouncing the death penalty. WTI has partnered with the Ohio Innocence Project and the #NoDeathPenaltyOH campaign to visit the state of Ohio.

The statewide tour known as the Ohio Innocence Tour features those released from death row due to their innocence.

The hope of the tour is to raise awareness of the death penalty.

Many exonerated work hard to educate the public and defend those who have been wrongfully accused of a crime.

The WTI co-founder has his own story.

Krone was arrested for murder in 1992 due to a witness telling authorities he was guilty. Krone served three of his 10 years on death row. After continuing the fight for freedom, a DNA test proved Krone not guilty.

“I received a call one day; it was April 8, 2002,” Krone said. “My lawyer said, ‘I just had the prosecutor on the phone; you go back home. I came out of this prison to start my life over at the age of 45. A reporter asked, “You mentioned your faith in God and what do you think he leaves you in prison for 10 years? I said, maybe it’s not about the last 10 years, it’s about what I’m doing for the next 10.

Contact Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.

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