Ricky Kidd, wrongfully convicted for 23 years, celebrates one year of freedom

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been one year since Ricky Kidd was released from prison after being wrongfully convicted of a double murder.

On Saturday, he celebrated his first year of freedom on a private Zoom call with friends, family and supporters.

Kidd was just 21 years old when he was convicted of a 1996 double murder and sentenced to life in prison. He spent 23 years behind bars before he was released.

An anonymous tip led investigators to Kidd, who had a solid alibi, and there was no physical evidence connecting Kidd to the murders. His attorneys said evidence pointing to other suspects was not turned over by the prosecution. 

“I recognize, Shannon, that our system is so off track when it comes to justice, that many people don’t get it. They simply don’t get it,” Kidd told FOX4’s Shannon O’Brien.

Kidd, who lost so much in those 23 years, doesn’t dwell on “what if’s.” Since his release, Kidd has started “I Am Resilience” and now commits his life to raising awareness for people wrongfully convicted and helping others rise above life’s challenges. 

“I feel that there’s a responsibility now that comes with it,” Kidd said. “So many people do not have it. That’s a part of what Freedom Lap 2020 is about.”

Freedom Lap 2020 is how Kidd is marking the one-year anniversary of his freedom. He’s spending the month of August driving across the country, visiting over a dozen states, to raise awareness for wrongful convictions.

Along the way, Kidd is meeting with local Innocence Project groups, attorneys, lawmakers, innocent people who have spent time in prison and those who are still there.

“All of that makes me feel like it’s urgent,” Kidd said. “‘I’ve got to get up. I’ve got to go. I’ve got to do and at the end of the day, Shannon, I just want my tombstone to say, ‘I came. I lived. I mattered.’”

Kidd believes you don’t have to spend a quarter-century in prison to do something that matters. Everyone has it inside of them. 

He has five keys for walking in resilience: get anchored, get moving, find your energy, access perspective and live selflessly. Find more information about I Am Resilience here.

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