What can happen in 23 years? A child enters adulthood, someone graduates from high school, maybe someone gets married, and some might even become successful entrepreneurs. 7 years shy of three decades can bring in a profuse amount of changes in the world and within you. Ricky Kidd spent those 23 years serving a life sentence for a crime he was wrongfully convicted for.
Being mocked by the state of Missouri for not ever having a likely chance to attain freedom, Ricky stood and walked out of confinement a free man. The vision and passion that led Ricky to not lose heart despite 11 losses, enabled him to utilize his experience. He is reaching out to individuals, who if not confined in a four-wall cell, are confined within themselves. His work against the deteriorating justice system of America has revitalized the fight against injustice all across the country.
Voicing his thoughts, Ricky has always been praised for his oratory skills. Now, his poetry book “Vivid Expressions: A Journey Inside The Mind of The Innocent”, is an introspective glance at his experience. But outside the folds of these pages, he has worked for the revival of exonerees. Ricky testified before Missouri lawmakers, bringing to light the possibility of compensation for exonerees. This step was vital as the law stipulated the victim’s ineligibility for any compensation from the state.
Not only are individuals robbed of their years and freedom, but also of their livelihood. Ricky’s step to present that discrepancy would assist all other struggling exonerees. Being recognized by the Innocence Network as a person who was reborn as a result of his resolute nature, he is now an elected member of its executive board. With this organization, Ricky acts as a partner to 70 Innocence Projects all over the United States.
His passion is demonstrated in the various activities he plans on introducing to inaugurate new reforms, policies, and awareness campaigns. Recently, Ricky has initiated a program under “I Am Resilience”, COPD, a CLE-credited program where prosecutors are assisted and educated on the steps to avoid that could lead to wrongful conviction. This forum has given Ricky the platform to not just create awareness but share his story as well.
The world had changed for Ricky in the 23 years that he was wrongfully incarcerated. But instead of stumbling backward, he has been running forward. The state of Missouri mocked him for not ever touching a woman in his life. Now, he has a beautiful wife and an 18-month-old daughter, Harmony Justice Kidd. Ricky defied all odds and marked his name on a pedestal that rejoices in his honorary work and opens the door to possibilities.