NewsLocal News


Ricky Kidd, wrongfully convicted for 23 years, takes in new freedoms

Ricky Kidd Celebrates.jpeg
Posted at 9:50 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 23:24:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A first full day of freedom after Ricky Kidd walked out of prison Thursday 23 years after a wrongful conviction. Kidd spent Friday starting a new life, from new clothes to preparing for a driver's license test.

Ricky Kidd is still adjusting to his new reality as strangers welcomed him back home as he tried out clothes at Harold Pener Suits on E. 63rd street.

"I’m about to rediscover it, I’m about to re-explore," Kidd said.

A lot has changed in Kansas City since he last saw it in 1996.

"I was on the highway and she [GPS] said that the exit was going to bring us to 47th st," Kidd said. "There was no exit that was bringing us to 47th street when I got locked up."

Twenty-three years later, he's re-establishing himself as a member of society.

On Friday, Kidd went to get a copy of his birth certificate, a state ID and registered to vote.

He also received a cell phone. A gift from Miracle of Innocence, an area non profit. The founder, Pastor Darryl Burton, was wrongly convicted and spent 24 years behind bars.

"For guys who come home like us with nothing in place, we have to do it for ourselves," Burton said.

Burton helps exonerees once they make it out. Kidd wants to nip it in the bud.

"It’s not just wrongful convictions, but we can identify what some of these sub-topics are and perhaps we can do something about it," Kidd said.

For the time being, Kidd is depending on organizations, his family and a Gofundme campaign to get back on his feet.

"People who make parole or getting out and receiving better benefits or resources than a guy who gets exonerated," Kidd said. "So yeah it feels good to be exonerated. It feels good to be free. It feels good to be sitting here talking to you, but they kick me out the door and the dollars that I had in my account they gave me a little debit card and they said 'good luck.'"

It's another thing he wants to change but he remembers to take it a day at a time.

"It’s a full blown reality for now depending on what the state decides to do," Kidd said. "I’m hopeful that everything will continue to go well and work well that the judge decision will stand."