Free Kenny Collins!

New Evidence Of Innocence Revealed

By: Virginia Simmons

One phone call last June may have provided some of the evidence to free Kenneth Collins from Maryland's death row.

Andre Thorpe called Kenny's attorney and admitted that he lied under oath in order to help to convict Kenny. Thorpe says that he is willing to officially recant his testimony, even though this might leave him open to face perjury charges.

Kenny, who has always maintained his innocence, has been on death row in Maryland for over 10 years for the 1986 murder of Wayne Breenen. No physical evidence -- not DNA, blood, fingerprints or a murder weapon -- was presented at his trial. The case against Kenny was built entirely on circumstantial evidence and witnesses.

Only three of the witnesses actually linked Kenny to the crime. One of them, Tony Michie, had confessed to being an accomplice in the murder of Breenen. After Michie's first trial ended in a hung jury, a plea agreement was arranged in which Michie would testify against Kenny -- and not be tried for first-degree murder with the possibility of receiving the death penalty.

Many people believe that, under the pressures of the legal system, Michie decided to frame Kenny as the gunman.

There have always been numerous reasons to doubt the three witnesses against Kenny -- their testimony was contradictory on several occasions, and all three had a vested interest in seeing Kenny convicted. Now that Thorpe has told the truth, it's impossible to maintain that Kenny got a fair trial.

Kenny has worked with the Campaign for years, participating in some of its first Live from Death Row events. We will continue to organize to win justice for Kenny Collins.