Meet Our Staff
Ray Krone, Director of Membership and Training
Ray Krone is the Director of Membership and Training for Witness to Innocence, and one of our organization’s co-founders. He has responsibility for overseeing membership cohesion among the exonerees, and for developing and delivering trainings to new speakers and media spokespeople at WTI. Ray is the 100th person to be exonerated from death row in the United States. Before his exoneration in 2002, Ray spent more than ten years in Arizona prisons, including nearly three years on death row, for a murder he did not commit. Since then he has become one of the nation’s most recognized public voices for abolition, and has spoken throughout the United States and Europe, appearing before hundreds of groups, state legislatures, and other governmental bodies. He has been featured in People and Parade magazines, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on Good Morning America, the BBC, Investigative Discovery Channel and more.
Kathy Spillman, Director of Programs and Outreach
Kathy Spillman is responsible for coordinating local, national and international speaking events; outreach activities to new partners and audiences; and facilitating media relations for Witness to Innocence. She is also editor of our awesome website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Kathy has more than 20 years of experience in program development and management for non-profits and higher education institutions, and has won awards for her outreach programs to diverse constituencies, including the U.S. military and the Philadelphia heritage arts community. She has also served as a trainer and consultant for human rights, environmental, and youth advocacy organizations in Macedonia, Ukraine, Armenia, and the Czech Republic (where she was a Fulbright Scholar in 2003), and has taught human rights and civics to middle and high school students in Romania and Poland. She served as the Senior Academic Resource Specialist for the the Close Up Foundation, the nation's largest non-profit, non-partisan civic education organization, where she organized hundreds of seminars and workshops on domestic and foreign policy for high school students, teachers, and senior citizens from around the United States, and was Associate Director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She also served as a program consultant for Penn's Graduate School of Education, Camden County College, and the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Kathy has an MA in International Relations and Arabic from Georgetown University and has traveled to more than 20 extraordinary countries, but thinks Philadelphia is the best city in the world. She is naturally a big Phillies fan.
Mariko Franz, Deputy Director
Mariko Franz has over ten years of experience working in nonprofits on an administrative and organizational level. Most recently, Mariko worked at the regionally-based Clean Air Council in Philadelphia as their Membership Coordinator. Previously, she served as an Administrative Assistant at the American Friends Service Committee, and as Administrative Manager to the Student Environmental Action Coalition. In addition, she worked on a number of local issues in Philadelphia, including public education, the school-to-prison pipeline, immigrant rights, and gentrification. Mariko received her Bachelor of Arts in Education and History from Temple University. Originally from Pittsburgh, Mariko now considers Philadelphia home, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Ron Keine, Assistant Director of Membership and Training
Ron Keine works with Ray Krone and Delbert Tibbs as an Assistant Director of Membership and Training for Witness to Innocence. Ron was one of four men convicted of the murder and kidnapping 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 lies by the prosecution’s star witness, perjured identification given under police pressure, and the use of poorly administered lie detector tests. Ron was released in 1976 after the murder weapon was traced to a law enforcement officer who admitted to the killing. Ron’s powerful prose on the death penalty has appeared in both scholarly and literary arts publications, and he was recently honored by the Texas House of Representatives.
Sabrina Butler, Assistant Director of Membership and Training
Sabrina Butler works with Ray Krone and Ron Keine as an Assistant Director of Membership and Training for Witness to Innocence. Sabrina Butler was a Mississippi teenager who was convicted of murder and child abuse in the death of her nine-month-old son, Walter, in 1989. At her trial, prosecutors sought to prove that Sabrina's account of the events leading to her son's death were false, and that she had inflicted the fatal wounds intentionally. Sabrina did not testify at her trial, and was convicted of both murder and child abuse, becoming the only woman on Mississippi's Death Row at the time. In 1995, Sabrina's case went to retrial. At the trial, one of Sabrina's neighbors had come forward with evidence that corroborated her account that the injuries to her son occurred during the course of an unsuccessful attempt to administer CPR. In addition, the medical examiner changed his opinion about Walter's cause of death, which he now believed occurred due to a kidney malady. On December 17, 1995, Sabrina was exonerated after spending more than five years in prison and 33 months on death row. She is the only woman exonerated from death row in the United States. Today, Sabrina still lives in the same town where she was convicted, with her husband Joe Porter and three children.
Corbin Gardner, Mercy Volunteer Corps Program Assistant
Corbin Gardner is Witness to Innocence’s Mercy Volunteer Corps Program Assistant for the 2013-2014 program year. He was born and raised in Southeast Iowa in the town of Ottumwa, and firmly believes that today is a great day to be a Hawkeye. He recently graduated from Creighton University of Omaha, Nebraska, with a B.S.B.A. in Economics and a philosophy minor. Corbin has enjoyed international travel to parts of Africa and South America and hopes to visit every continent someday. Corbin believes strongly in the dignity of each person, and this conviction guides his efforts to serve others, especially those on the margins of society. He plans to pursue a vocation as an attorney to serve others through his work. He also intends to maintain a long-distance relationship with the Creighton Blue Jays, despite being in hostile Big East territory.