Death row survivor speaks out against death penalty

Posted By: Camila Orti

Local groups held a news conference Thursday morning to support a bill that would repeal the death penalty.

The Nebraska Innocence Project hopes this could be the year it happens.

“When the truth is finally made clear you can be released from prison, you can never be brought back from the grave,” death row exoneree Ray Krone said.

Krone says he’s lucky to be alive. Back in 2002, he was the 100th person in the country to be released from death row, convicted of a murder in Arizona he didn’t commit.

“There’s just nothing in life that prepares you for the outrage of it,” Krone said.

Beatrice Six member JoAnn Taylor also took the podium. She says simply the threat of execution forced her and others in that famous 1980’s murder case to give a false confession.

“It caused me, an innocent person, to plead and actually believe I was guilty of something I did not do,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s lawyer at the time said his hands were tied in order to keep his client alive.

“I’d have tried the case in a New York minute if it hadn’t been for the death penalty because early on I perceived all kinds of problems with the evidence,” Lyle Koenig told Channel 8 back in January of 2014.

Those in favor of keeping the death penalty, like Sen. Bill Kintner, says he’ll filibuster the repeal bill if necessary.

Again, lawmakers advanced Sen. Chambers’ bill to repeal the death penalty last week. They’re supposed to begin second-round debate next week.