This is the face of the man whose life you helped save.
“It feels like the world has stopped…Our family has gone through a lot…I’d like to thank Governor Strickland for being a just man,” said Kevin’s older brother Charles upon hearing the news that his younger brother would live past September 15th — that he would live to embrace his family one more time and celebrate another birthday.
Thanks to supporters and activists like you, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland spared Kevin Keith from execution last week.
Mr. Keith’s conviction centered on several flawed eyewitness identifications. The key witness against Mr. Keith first told four people he could not identify the shooter because the shooter was wearing a mask. It wasn’t until the police showed this witness a highly suggestive photo lineup, with Mr. Keith’s face made larger than the others, that the witness picked out Mr. Keith.
More than 30 former judges and prosecutors, nearly 60 Innocence Projects and legal organizations, over 100 Ohio faith leaders, renowned eyewitness experts, and thousands of supporters called on the Ohio Parole Board and Governor Strickland to grant clemency to Kevin Keith.
Gov. Strickland, who is facing a tough re-election battle and was ultimately presented with an 8-0 recommendation against clemency from the Ohio Parole Board, remarkably managed to see past political ambition and expediency and summoned the courage to do what was right. He recognized that the execution of an innocent man could not be undone. He weighed his options and cast his vote for life.
Mr. Keith has been re-sentenced to life without parole; however, the Governor stated, “Should further evidence justify my doing so, I am prepared to review this matter again for possible further action.” Let’s hope he does.
This heroic decision is a reminder that committed individuals can make a difference — that each and every one of our actions matter – -that one life matters.
Editor’s Note: Here’s the petition that helped save Kevin Keith’s life. Thanks to all who signed and spread the word!
photo credit: death penalty focus
By Stefanie Faucher, Associate Director of Death Penalty Focus