The Ray Krone Story, Billboard
After watching this billboard take shape over about a 2 week period, the neighbors finally saw the completed message and still wondered what it meant. I asked the owner of the convenience store down the street from my home what this was about and he had no idea. Deciding NOT to call that local phone number, I went online and came up right away with many references to Ray Krone. Apparently he is someone who had been convicted of murder and was on death row for quite some time, despite two trials. I believe that the story goes Ray Krone was released on DNA evidence as being shown he could not have committed that murder. See the Innocence Project story here on Ray Krone, the 100th inmate acquitted by the DNA evidence.
So why is the billboard placed here? I am guessing that it is because it is the closest billboard site to the home of the man now in jail as the "Baseline Killer" or "Serial Rapist". For a few years the whole urban area was terrorized by repeat crimes of violence. The upshot is that it turns out there were two separate serial killer scenarios: two men were caught in Mesa, Arizona as being those who just went around shooting strangers on the street, and then the serial rapist/killer turned out to be "allegedly" a man who lives/lived just blocks from this sign.
As this last person is now on trial (the first trial) for about 7 charges and then there will be a trial with about 54 charges following, I am guessing the sign refers to the death penalty in Arizona law, which is what "the People" are calling for. I relate to this whole issue in ways that come from my previous employment in a maximum security prison. I personally believe that the worst that can be done to a person is lock them in jail for the rest of their life. It's too easy to just kill the person. If you really want to punish, then that's a choice that will be guaranteed to punish punish punish. But of course most people believe in the death penalty, and Arizona is one of the most active states in the US to seek and deliver it. I think the order goes something like Florida, Texas, Illinois and then we get Arizona with delivering death by state. Whatever the results of the trial and trials for all the men in jail, there will be controversy and upset for years to come.