Jan 28, 2016 5:00 PM

Wrongly convicted murderer comes to NH to push for repeal of state's death penalty


CONCORD - New Hampshire is the last frontier when it comes to repealing the death penalty in all of New England.

Several prominent opponents to capital punishment came to the Statehouse on Thursday to urge its repeal.

"Making a Murderer," the Netflix series that's gripped the nation, has many of us binge-watching the 10 episode series, forming opinions on the culpability of Steven Avery and the flaws of the criminal justice system.

But Ray Krone, sentenced to death in 1992 for the kidnapping and murder of a Phoenex, Ariz. woman, has come much closer to that world

"I was finally released in April of 2002, after 10 years 3 months and 8 day," he said.

DNA evidence cleared him and now he travels the country advocating to end capital punishment.

"These convictions, these accusations, these trials they are not always accurate... not always the truth comes out," Krone said.

"Fortunately, we can relieve somebody from the prison from a wrongful conviction if they are still alive. We can't do that if we've executed them,’’ Krone warned.

Opponents of the death penalty, like Krone, testified before a Senate committee pushing to suspend the death penalty in New Hampshire until no innocent victims are executed.

"In Texas, we're the execution capital of the world, and in my short time as district attorney, I've prosecuted five death penalty cases, which have all resulted in convictions, all resulted in executions,’’ said ex-Texas prosecutor Sam Millsap.

Thrity years ago, that was a victory for Millsap who had been the San Antonio district attorney. But now - he has his regrets.

"When you're confronted with the reality you may be responsible for the execution of an innocent person it has a pretty interesting effect,’’ Millsap observed.

Death penalty supporters say capital punishment acts as a deterrent for violent criminals.

"Given the experience and history of the death penalty in New Hampshire, this seems to be a solution in search of a problem,’’ said John Yurcak, past president of the New Hampshire Police Association.

But Krone warns - just because you don’t fit the stereotype, doesn’t mean you won’t be wrongly convicted.

"I didn’t even have driving tickets, and they sent me to death row,’’ Krone said.


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