Ron Keine was one of four men convicted of the murder, kidnapping, sodomy, and rape of a University of New Mexico student in 1974. He and his co-defendants were sentenced to death, before an investigation by The Detroit News uncovered a bizarre campaign by prosecutors to coerce testimony from a motel maid named Judy Weyer, whom they wanted to be their star witness.
After prosecutors reneged on all their promises to Weyer, she fully retracted her story in a set of taped newspaper interviews. The story broke in January 1975, and a hearing for a new trial was held. Unbelievably, the judge refused to grant a new trial, and then the taped interviews with Judy Weyer mysteriously disappeared. Ron and his co-defendants remained on death row.
Ron was finally released in 1976, after the murder weapon was traced to a law enforcement officer who admitted to the killing. Because of the corruption surrounding Ron’s case, the assistant prosecutor was disbarred and three sheriff detectives were fired because of their actions in the case. After his release, Ron returned to Michigan, where he now resides. Ron says he used to have faith in the American justice system, but “now I know it is corrupt and broken. I don’t believe the government should kill people.” Utilizing a powerful mix of humor and pathos, Ron speaks to groups all over the country about the death penalty, and has given numerous interviews to national and local media, including “Larry King Live.”
Read this great op-ed penned by Ron that appeared in numerous papers around the country about his experience on death row: http://otherwords.org