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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.”

Join Ray's Fight >>


Jingle Jangle: The Perfect Crime Turned Inside Out

  • 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

The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice

  • Written by Bill Kurtis

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

In The Media:

1.14.08 Lethal injection is the wrong debate

10.13.08 Life after Death Row

8.8.06 Ray Krone Settles For $4.4 Million After Two Wrongful Murder Convictions

1.27.15 I'm the best argument against death penalty

9.8.15 Seventh Circuit grants immunity to bite mark ‘experts’ who put innocent man in prison for 23 years

10.21.15 DNA sheds light on past mistakes

4.15.16 Man freed from death row by DNA evidence speaks at Cleveland State

11.21.16 Exonerated Arizona man shows Utah lawmakers the human face of death row mistakes

5.18.17 Murder cases often go cold after exonerations

6.16.17 Testimony on hair samples under scrutiny in 100s of Arizona cases

6.27.17 Meet the Christians Working to Abolish the Death Penalty

8.23.17 Federal appeals court refuses qualified immunity for bite-mark experts

11.9.17 Wrongful Convictions Like Mine Are Why It’s Time To End The Death Penalty

5.4.18 Exonerated Former Death Row Inmate Ray Krone On Efforts to Abolish Death Penalty

5.4.18 Death row exonerees gather at state capitol to call for an end to the death penalty

7.7.18 Harold Wilson, Kirk Bloodsworth and Ray Krone: We are proof that mistakes happen in death penalty cases

8.6.18 State Supreme Court denies stay of execution for death row inmate Billy Ray Irick

8.7.18 'Tell the governor we pray for him:' Group delivers petitions against executions

8.15.18 As Tennessee restarts executions, 40 years of data expose its death penalty as a "cruel lottery"

11.1.18 Faulty Forensics Put Me on Death Row

11.15.18 Witness to Innocence celebrates 15th anniversary, calls for end to the death penalty

2.19.19 Crowd debates bill to end death penalty

4.26.19 Inocentes narran cómo se salvaron de la pena de muerte

8.23.19 Department Of Justice Action Prompts Arizona To Renew Pursuit Of Death Penalty Drugs

9.10.19 Pennsylvania Supreme Court should strike down the death penalty

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

12.9.19 Ending the Death Penalty: An Interview with Death Row Exoneree Ray Krone

1.6.21 Witness to Innocence Releases #ImLivingProof Video Series

1.11.21 The Fight for Freedom Pt. 2

9.26.23 Fox News shares Ray Krone's exoneration story

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

Watch more #ImLivingProof video shorts.

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