Scot Freed After 22 Years on Death Row in Ohio

Plea bargain ends protracted appeal
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2008 5:26 PM CST

(Newser) – A Scotsman who had served almost 22 years on Ohio's death row was released today, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Kenneth Richey, 43, was convicted in 1986 of causing an apartment fire that caused the death of a 2-year-old, but after a protracted appeal process, a federal court overturned his conviction last August. He then pleaded no contest to reduced charges and was sentenced to time served.

Richey came within hours of being executed 14 years ago when a last-minute stay spared him. He protested his innocence the entire time he was incarcerated, and attracted support from MPs in the UK, which has no death penalty, as well as Pope John Paul II. Today's ruling ordered Richey to leave the US within 24 hours and never return.