my name is Kevin Keith, I am 56 Years old. I was incarcerated on Ohio’s death row from 1994-2010. my sentence was commutted by former gov. Ted Stricklin 13 days before my execution date. I currently have a actual innocence habeas corpus petition pending in federal court. I was born in Crestline Ohio in 1963. Crestline is a small town and I have always thought of it as my own little Mayberry as depicted on the Andy Griffin show except crestline had black people living in it. When I was 10 years old we moved to Canton Ohio. I attended Washington grade school which was literally right across the street from our house. I could walk right out of our front door and walk right into the school. I immediately had a culture shock l.o.l. one would have to understand that growing up in crestline other then my family, and a handful of other black families everybody and thing was white. my neighborhood in Canton everybody looked like me. there were so many beautiful different shades of black girls. i quickly made a friend his name was Terry. My first day in Canton me and my knew found friend Terry done what I loved to do as a kid we went on a adventure . I had my mind set on exployering this new front tear. We ended up downtown Canton. I was amazed at all of the bright lights, people and cars. As we walked along the beer bottle ,cigarette Iitered sidewalk we came upon this crouwed bar. My attention was drawned to this one gentleman who was dressed in bright colorful cloths. He wore a big hat telted to the side and smoked one of those funny smelling cigarettes that my uncles smoked that made them laugh a great deal. With investigating eyes i turned toward my friend Terry who seemed to be taking it all in , um is this man a movie star or something ? and why is all tem ladies hugging hims . Terry turned to me as i were the dummest kid on the block and said boy thats a pimp and those are his girlfriend vividly remember returning back home 2:00 a.m. in the morning only to notice from a distance police cars infront of my house. I was scared I thought that something bad had happened. as I approached my mom broke through the gathered crowd yelling and screaming at me in a foreign language .the language sounded familiar, i thought to myself it sounds like my mom is whipping me while singing one of little Richards classic hits tutti frutti wop bab bullew
she tore into me something good with the police cheering her every wop bab bullew blow on l.o.l. you see back then you could beat OK for statued of limitation purposes I will say whip a child in front of the police with the officers approval. of course these days you can’t raise your voice at your child without the feds knocking at your door. while my mom took a moment to collect her breath I figured it was time for me to drop a tear as a sign that i had had enough. for some reason I had the bright ideal to ask um what I doooo. wop bab bullew boy you out running around this late at night worrying the mess out of me get your butt in the house but mom I cried I was ju ,that’s the closes I got to saying just before my mom spit out wop right upside my head. on my way into the house I glanced back at the dispercing crowd and noticed the kids faces were filled with questions as to ask who is the new kid with the big head who decided to defy the laws of staying out late at night and took a whipping and barely droped a tear.
Categories: Kevin Keith