Jump to content

Kenny Richey IS Coming home to Scotland

Recommended Posts

Richey to take plea, return to Scotland

Greg Sowinski | gsowinski@limanews.com - 12.19.2007

OTTAWA 10:23 a.m., Dec. 19 Former death row inmate Kenneth Richeys fight to regain his freedom will end Thursday in a Putnam County courtroom through a deal with prosecutors that will allow him to walk away a free man, The Lima News has learned.

Richey will plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and breaking and entering, according to his attorney, Ken Parsignian. Richey was charged in connection with the June 30, 1986, fire death of 2-year-old Cynthia Collins at a Columbus Grove apartment complex. As part of the deal, prosecutors have agreed to give Richey credit for time served and he will return to Scotland on Friday, Parsigian said.

Richey has maintained his innocence throughout the 21 years hes been locked up. He was sentenced to death following a conviction at 1987 trial. After years of appeals, Richey was awarded a new trial when the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year ruled Richeys trial attorneys didnt do a good enough job representing him

Torley.org - when blind justice becomes blind injustice - Home

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richey's plea bardain from the Toledo Blade Editorial

Richey's plea bargain Toledo Blade Editorial

[a very pro death penalty paper in Ohio, USA)

Monday, 24 December 2007

NEWS that Kenneth Richey plans to cop a no-contest plea to lesser crimes in the 1986 fire death of a 2-year-old Putnam County girl is a keen disappointment to those of us who expected the 43-year-old Scotsman would finally get full and fair disposition of the charges against him.

Moreover, the plea bargain in this internationally watched case won't satisfy critics abroad who claim, with ample justification, that Richey was a victim of a rush to justice in a small U.S. town.

What the deal does do, however, is remind us that American law does not require that criminal suspects prove themselves innocent. The prosecution must prove guilt, and the case against Richey collapsed under the weight of some very shaky evidence.

The plea arrangement, delayed when Richey fell ill on Friday, will allow him to head back home across the Atlantic, his 20-year ordeal on Ohio's Death Row reduced to a fading nightmare. At one point, 13 years ago, he came within one hour of being executed.

Richey staunchly proclaimed his innocence, both before and after a three-judge panel convicted him of capital murder in 1987. After his conviction was overturned on a federal appeal last summer, he vowed in an interview with The Blade that he would never accept a plea deal to get out of prison because he didn't set the fire that killed Cynthia Collins, of Columbus Grove.

While he declared that he would prove his innocence or "die trying," Richey evidently succumbed to the lure of freedom, which is entirely understandable after two decades behind bars.

In pleading nolo contendere to charges of attempted involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment, and breaking and entering, Richey is not admitting to anything that suggests he caused the death of the child.

The prosecution claimed that Richey, in a jealous rage, set a fire in a Columbus Grove apartment complex with the intent to harm his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. Instead, they escaped and the child, sleeping in an apartment on an upper floor, was killed.

Now the capital charges are being dropped and Richey will admit only that he had failed to baby-sit for the girl as he had promised her mother. But who in their right mind, we still wonder, would leave a 2-year-old home alone if the babysitter failed to show up?

One thing is certain: As an exhaustive investigation by The Blade showed, there were several crucial defects in Richey's trial. For example, his attorney never questioned the lack of expertise of the witness who testified that the fire was arson.

Nor was evidence presented that the dead girl had a propensity for playing with a lighter and had caused a couple of fires before the one in which she died.

As with many plea bargains, the one in this case is ultimately unsatisfying because it leaves loose ends, including what caused the fatal fire.

We recognize that key witnesses have recanted or died and the evidence is cold, but the legal system, however imperfect, finally functioned the way it is designed. That the process took more than 20 years is regrettable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Kenny Richey to be released on Monday

Amnesty International


Campaigners for Kenny Richey, a Scottish man who has spent more than 20 years on death row in Ohio, are preparing to celebrate his release on Monday.

Mr Richey had been preparing to mount a defence in a forthcoming retrial following a federal court decision in August that his 1987 capital conviction was unsound and should be overturned. Instead, it was announced last month that a deal had been struck that would allow the Edinburgh man to be released after a brief court hearing at which he would plead "no contest". That hearing, on 20 December, had to be postponed when Mr Richey was taken ill just hours before he was expected to walk free and return to Edinburgh in time for Christmas. The hearing has been rescheduled for Monday (at 6pm, UK time).

Mr Richey was convicted of arson and murder in the state of Ohio and sentenced to death on 27 January 1987. He has always protested his innocence.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

"We're delighted for Kenny and his family and supporters that freedom is now so close. It has been too long coming.

"The death penalty is always a human rights outrage, achieving nothing but suffering and injustice, and in this case Kenny suffered from particularly shoddy justice.

"Kenny Richey's 20-year ordeal came after a flawed trial and serious concerns about the Ohio justice system. He now joins the ranks of those released from American death row prisons when they should never have been there in the first place.

"We were all concerned when Kenny was taken ill just before Christmas. Going forward, he should get all the support he needs to help him to rebuild his life."

Mr Richey, who has a Scottish mother and grew up in Edinburgh, is also the subject of a longstanding campaign from a Scottish anti-death penalty campaigner, Karen Torley. Ms Torley said:

"It's been an incredibly long fight for justice but we're finally seeing some semblance of that. "It was always a disgrace that the Ohio justice system found Kenny guilty in the way it did - and totally shocking that they put him on death row then fought tooth and nail to keep him there.

"I always had full confidence in Kenny's innocence and the Ohio authorities have effectively accepted that they never had a case in the first place."Along with his family I'll be planning a welcome home to Scotland' party for Kenny. He has a lot of life to catch up on."

For several years Amnesty International has been urging the Ohio state authorities to allow Kenny Richey the opportunity to have fresh evidence heard. It has also repeatedly asked the UK government to maintain pressure on the US authorities in line with the government's policy of opposing the death penalty in all instances. In 2004 the government confirmed that it has a "comprehensive lobbying strategy" over Richey's case.

The following are available for interview, in London and Edinburgh respectively:

Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

John Watson, Amnesty International's Scottish Programme Director

To arrange an interview or for further information or comment please contact

Amnesty International UK press office: 020 7033 1546/8/9, 07721 398984,

Contact: John Watson

Phone: 0131 313 7012

Email: john.watson@amnesty.org.uk"

Website: Amnesty International - working to protect human rights worldwide

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NEWS that Kenneth Richey plans to cop a no-contest plea to lesser crimes in the 1986 fire death of a 2-year-old Putnam County girl is a keen disappointment to those of us who expected the 43-year-old Scotsman would finally get full and fair disposition of the charges against him.

More and more these days I just cannot find the words to describe how much I destest these sick fuckers living in and running the USA' date=' so here's a quote from armando iannuci

Over the centuries, morality changes. For example hundreds of years ago, it was considered OK to execute people for shouting, in rome - and it was the done thing to kill them as painfully as possible, probably by grating them to death while their knees were being chewed by hogs.

But nowadays we would say that is _completely_ barbaric, and it's much better to kill someone by tethering him to an electric chair and then passing electricity through his head and bones, until he starts to smoke, vomit, have his lungs turn into two boiling haggises and then drop his hot piss and turds onto the floor infront of a room full of press photographers.

So in that respect, I suppose we're much more civilised.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mom's plans Richey's return to Scotland

Mom plans Richey's return to Scotland

Sunday, 06 January 2008

National dish, diet to welcome son




Kenneth Richey's first meal at home in his mother's small flat in Scotland will be a childhood favorite that isn't likely to have appeared on the menu of Ohio's death row - haggis.

But once he's finished with the meal of stuffed sheep stomach, turnips, and potatoes - a meal he requested - his mother, Eileen, has another treat for him. A diet.

"He's going to have to lose weight," she said. "That's my plan."

Tomorrow, Richey is expected to leave the Putnam County jail for the nearby courthouse, where he intends to enter pleas of no contest to charges of attempted involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment, and breaking and entering, none of which would involve an admission that he set the June 30, 1986, apartment fire that killed 2-year-old Cynthia K. Collins of Columbus Grove, Ohio.

In a case that has made it to the U.S. Supreme Court and back again, Richey's aggravated murder conviction was ultimately overturned a second time by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in August.

The court determined his defense lawyer was inadequate at trial when it came to challenging questionable arson evidence.

Richey should have been home just before Christmas, but a trip to the emergency room with chest pains delayed his plea hearing until tomorrow.

Tests showed 60 percent blockage in one of his arteries, but he's opted to wait until his return to Scotland before having surgery.

"He's still having chest pains, but he seems to be OK,'' said his father, Jim Richey. "Or at least he's pretending that until he gets to Scotland. He wants to get back to his home."

As a dual U.S.-British citizen, Richey is eligible for free national health care in the United Kingdom.

"The fact that he's had two to three heart attacks is a sign it's been very difficult for him," said Marc Callcutt of Reprieve UK, who plans to greet Mr. Richey during a Wednesday morning layover at London's Heathrow Airport.

"He genuinely thought he was coming home [by Christmas]," he said. "In January, 2005, he thought he had 90 days, and that was taken away from him. He's endured a lot of stress and strain."

While Richey maintained his innocence over the years, he insisted he would never accept a plea bargain.

His Boston attorney, Ken Parsigian, said the plea is the best way to end his client's ordeal without admitting guilt for setting the fire that killed the little girl.

"Really what it came down to for us was when they were willing to give up the only two things this was ever about, murder and arson, basically saying they can't prove murder and they can't prove arson," he said.

The attempted involuntary manslaughter charge, Mr. Parsigian said, merely has Richey admitting he was supposed to baby-sit the child but did not fulfill that duty.

Together, the maximum prison sentence for the three felonies he plans to plead no contest to totals 21 years - 15 years for attempted involuntary manslaughter, five years for child endangerment, and one year for breaking and entering. Richey will have served about 190 days more than that.

As part of the agreement, Mr. Parsigian said Richey agreed to leave the country within 24 hours, although, as a U.S. citizen, he's free to return at any time. He said Prosecutor Gary Lammers was concerned "about people who might want to take revenge against Kenny."

Mr. Lammers could not be reached for comment.

Richey also will agree not to sue the state for wrongful imprisonment or seek any other damages, Mr. Parsigian said.

Richey is expected to spend his first evening of freedom at the Cloverdale home of his brother, Steve. But he may not be able to meet with his 22-year-old son, Sean, as he'd originally hoped.

Sean Richey traveled from Minnesota to visit his father before Christmas, but he was arrested when he arrived at the county sheriff's office on warrants from home for failing to appear at a pretrial hearing on misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges. Minnesota authorities picked him up on Thursday.

Richey's ex-wife, Wendy, said she was trying to come up with $3,200 to bail Sean Richey out of jail in Minnesota so the two of them could drive to Ohio for tomorrow's hearing.

"We're not sure it's going to work," she said.

On Tuesday, his first full day of freedom, Richey is expected to fly overnight to Edinburgh where he grew up, the son of Eileen, a Scottish woman who briefly lived in the United States, and Jim, a former American serviceman now living in the state of Washington.

Richey will move into his mother's flat in the residential neighborhood of Dalry near the Scottish capital's center.

Mrs. Richey told The Blade that she plans to meet her son at the airport and drive him to her flat, but she expressed concern about what could be heavy media attention in her quiet neighborhood.

"I'm worried sick," she said. "I hope they don't bother my neighbors in any way."

Richey's ex-fiancee, Karen Torley of Glasgow, about 50 miles away, plans to steer clear of the airport after staying in frequent phone contact with Richey over the years and visiting him when he was on Ohio's former death row at the Mansfield Correctional Institution.

"It will be very, very difficult for him to adjust because he's been almost alone for a long time and not used to crowds," she said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Poor excuse for justice

Poor excuse for justice

Toledo Blade Editorial

Wednesday, 09 January 2008

KENNETH Richey is most assuredly not a sympathetic figure, but the kangaroo-court deal that set him free after two decades on death row is an embarrassing reminder that the wheels of the Ohio legal system sometimes grind in cruel, interminable fashion with no guarantee that real justice will prevail.

We make this declaration out of frustration because this newspaper has long maintained a strong editorial position in favor of swift and sure capital punishment in open-and-shut murder cases while opposing those that are unjustly imposed.

Unfortunately, the case of Richey, a small-time Scottish-American hooligan, turned into a travesty of justice before a skeptical world audience. Tried on flimsy evidence in the 1986 fire death of a 2-year-old Putnam County girl, he got an inept legal defense and a faulty trial full of errors and omissions that cast convincing doubt as to whether he committed any crime at all.

Moreover, it took 21 years for the case to run its course, culminating in Richey's release Monday to return to his homeland, free but broke and in ill health at 43 after years behind bars.

Had it not been for the intervention of a federal appeals court, Richey probably would have been executed unjustifiably.

In the end, he was, in effect, blackmailed into securing his freedom by pleading no contest to three face-saving charges so local authorities could claim that he had been held responsible for the death of little Cynthia Collins, the daughter of his sometime-girlfriend.

Gone were capital counts of aggravated murder and arson, lamely replaced by charges that included attempted involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment, on the thin grounds that Richey had failed to look after the child for her mother on the night she died.

Additionally, Richey's lawyer neglected to challenge weak and unreliable testimony that arson caused the fire and the three-judge panel that tried him failed to take account of this crucial omission. Such ineptitude should disqualify those jurists from further service on the bench.

Strong though the thirst for vengeance may be on the part of the victim's family, "failure to baby-sit," as the bogus charge against Richey was termed, is no excuse for unjustly imprisoning a man for 21 years.

Indeed, it was the girl's mother who had the ultimate responsibility to ensure that she was cared for on that fateful night.

Parading Richey into court in chains was the final indignity engineered by Putnam County authorities in an attempt to convince the public that justice was done. But it only served to underscore how an unsympathetic defendant can be chewed up and spit out by a legal system that failed to live up to its promise of fairness.

toledoblade.com -- Poor excuse for justice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...