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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 February, 2005, 09:37 GMT
Freedom call from death row Scot
Kenny Richey
Kenny Richey has spent 18 years on Death Row in Ohio
A Scot whose murder conviction was quashed after 18 years on death row has urged US authorities to set him free.

Prosecutors are deciding whether to fight the appeal court ruling that Kenny Richey's trial was flawed.

The 40-year-old Scot, who remains in an Ohio jail, is convinced that the authorities will try to prolong his case as long as possible.

Richey said he believed the state could drag out proceedings for up to five years and insisted on his innocence.

During a television interview screened on Wednesday, Richey was shown a photograph of the son he last saw when the boy was four months old.

The state will appeal it all and it depends on how long they take, they could drag it out for three, four, five years
Kenny Richey

He broke down on GMTV as he saw the image of 19-year-old Sean.

And he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There's no way to describe what I've been through, all I can say is I've been through a living hell.

"Nobody could comprehend what I've been through, nobody could.

"It makes me feel angry, I'm an extremely anger and bitter individual, I've lost 18 years of my life and that's 18 years I'll never be able to get back.

"My son is 19 now and I also have a granddaughter - I'm a 40-year-old grandpa."

Richey has always denied murdering his former girlfriend's two-year-old daughter, Cynthia Collins.

Appeal fear

He was found guilty of starting a fire at the toddler's mother's apartment in the town of Columbus Grove in 1986.

Last month the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there had been flaws in the original trial.

After the ruling a spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's Office voiced disappointment and said four separate courts had found that there was sufficient evidence to convict Richey of the "terrible crime".

Richey has received the support of UK MPs and top human rights campaigners in his fight to prove his innocence.

He told the Today programme he was certain that the US authorities would appeal against the latest judgement.

'Anger and hatred'

He said: "The state will appeal it all and it depends on how long they take, they could drag it out for three, four, five years if they want. That's the way the judicial system works in this country, it's very slow."

Richey - who was at one point only an hour away from being executed - said he was looking forward to freedom, but that he was unsure about his future.

He said: "Take all the anger and hatred in the world and all the bitterness and put it into one person and that's me.

"It might be difficult trying to readjust to society again, I'm hoping and praying that I don't lose it on somebody, the first person that gives me a hard time or something."


SEE ALSO:
'Rage' at 18-year death row stay
30 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Attorney considers Richey appeal
26 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Briton's death sentence quashed
25 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Birthday cake for death row man
03 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Show of support for death row man
14 Jul 04 |  Scotland
MSP appeal to save death row Scot
06 Apr 04 |  Scotland


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