Petition Text: The State of Ohio is poised to execute Kevin Keith on September 15, 2010, in spite of overwhelming evidence supporting what Mr. Keith has maintained from the time of his arrest – he is actually innocent, wrongfully convicted of a crime based on faulty eyewitness identification.
Mr. Keith has an alibi for the time of the crime supported by four witnesses.
The Ohio Innocence Project, the National Innocence Network, and a group of leading eyewitness and memory experts all support relief for Mr. Keith.
I urgently appeal to the Ohio Parole Board and Governor Ted Strickland to grant clemency to Kevin Keith to prevent the State of Ohio from doing the intolerable: putting a man to death for a crime he did not commit.
The primary evidence against Mr. Keith was the erroneous eyewitness identification of one of the surviving victims of the crime, who identified Mr. Keith in spite of initially telling at least four witnesses that he was unable to identify the perpetrator. This identification of Mr. Keith relied on the very procedures recognized to be unreliable and inaccurate by Governor Strickland and the Ohio Legislature when the State passed into law in April new requirements for eyewitness identification procedures.
New evidence recently uncovered by counsel for Mr. Keith further discredits the identification. Thirteen years after he was convicted, Mr. Keith discovered that one of the State’s supposed “witnesses” – who was critical to corroborating the legitimacy of the eyewitness identification – does not actually exist.
Additional new evidence also implicates an alternative suspect who told a police informant that he was paid to carry out the crime for which Mr. Keith stands to be executed.
No court has ever had the entirety of new evidence before it.
More information on the case can be found at: www.kevinkeith.org.
Mr. Keith has steadfastly maintained his innocence from the time of his arrest and throughout his 16 years on death row. The State of Ohio now risks putting to death an innocent man with no jury ever hearing the entirety of evidence of innocence.
I appeal to the Ohio Parole Board and Governor Strickland to grant clemency to Kevin Keith.
Petition can be found here.