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Ray Krone

Exoneree Name

State: Arizona

Convicted: 1992

Exonerated: 2002

Race: Caucasian

DNA used in exoneration? Yes

Reasons for wrongful conviction:

False or misleading forensic evidence

Prosecutorial misconduct


Ray's Wrongful Conviction

Ray Krone co-founded Witness to Innocence with Sister Helen Prejean in 2003. Before his exoneration in 2002, Ray spent more than 10 years in Arizona prisons, including nearly three years on death row, for a murder he did not commit.

His world was turned upside down in 1991, when Kim Ancona was murdered in a Phoenix bar where Ray was an occasional customer, and he was arrested for the crime. The case against him was based largely on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of a supposedly “expert” witness, later discredited, who claimed bite marks found on the victim matched Ray’s teeth. He was sentenced to death in 1992.

But Ray refused to give up his fight for exoneration. In 2002, with the help of attorney Alan Simpson, he convinced an appeals court that DNA found at the murder scene indicated the guilt of another man, Kenneth Phillips. When prosecutors dropped the charges that April, Ray became the 100th person exonerated from death row since the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States in 1976.

Ray's Work Today

Ray founded Witness to Innocence with Sister Helen Prejean in 2003. He continues to be an active member of WTI, speaking across the nation and urging states to abolish the death penalty.

Ray now lives with his partner Cheryl Naill in Tennessee and devotes his life to improving the criminal justice system that failed him. “I would not trust the state to execute a person for committing a crime against another person,” he says. “I know how the system works. It’s not about justice or fairness or equality. Any chance I can, whether I start with one or two people or a whole auditorium filled with people, I’ll tell them what happened to me. Because if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.”


  • Written by Jim Rix, cousin of death row exoneree Ray Krone

  • "A must for readers of true crime and anyone wondering why so many innocent people are convicted in America. The book satisfies from start to finish, from the opening of Ray Krone's horror story, through the compelling analysis of what went wrong and on to the startling conclusion." - Sister Helen Prejean

  • Written by Bill Kurtis

  • Tells details of how two death row inmates, including Ray Krone, had been wrongly convicted

In The Media:

10.14.19 Executed man's daughter asks court to order DNA testing in 1985 murder conviction

10.14.19 Thirteen years after death-row inmate executed, court asked to test DNA that could exonerate Tennessee man

10.14.19 Family of man executed in Millington murder argues DNA could clear his name

10.15.19 DNA testing could exonerate man 13 years after he was executed for rape, murder

#ImLivingProof... that we send the innocent to die.


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