Released from Death Row


Billings – As of October 2010, 138 people are living free after wrongly spending time on death row.

Ray Krone stopped in Billings to speak out against the death penalty. Krone was charged, convicted and sentenced to death for a murder in a Phoenix bar nearly 20 years ago. Ten years after being on death row, he was cleared of all wrongdoing.

Krone shares his story, “Why are you doing this? Go find the person that did it. It’s not me,” said Krone. That’s what was going through his mind in 1991 when he was sentenced to the death penalty. “I was arrested; completely on testimony of a bite mark on the body matched my teeth, so I was arrested. That’s the whole reason, I was convicted and sentenced to death,” said Krone.

Krone said he reached a point where he had to prove his innocence. “It’s like if you’re drowning in a river, you don’t swim against the current, you stay alive by going with the flow. That’s really pretty much what it got to for me. After a couple of weeks, then months, on death row and beating myself up ‘why me, why me’ why did this happen.”

“It was a sentence on my families lives,” Krone said.

Krone said there are over 3,500 people on death row in America. “Few are actually able to prove our innocence and be released. There’s so many left behind. Hopefully we’ll be an inspiration to those still in there, those families fighting for their release. It does happen,” said Krone.

DNA evidence from the murder scene eventually cleared Krone. There are currently two Montanan’s sitting on death row.