(WBIR) At a time when more people are questioning the death penalty, Tennessee is trying to push through multiple executions.
According to Death Penalty Information Center, there are nine inmates with scheduled executions in Tennessee and two with stays.
Monday night, a former death row inmate spoke at the University of Tennessee about how he was convicted of a crime he did not commit.
Ray Krone served more than 10 years in prison.
In 1991, Kim Ancona, 36, was murdered in a Phoenix, Arizona bar. Investigators pinpointed the murder, kidnapping and sexual assault on Krone. A jury then found Krone guilty of her murder and kidnapping.
"Once you're arrested, it's really hard to fight that system. It cost so much money that even working for the post office, I couldn't come near affording the $100,000 to defend myself. And being innocent, I thought, 'What do I have to worry anyway? I'll be fine. I didn't do anything,'" Krone said.
Krone was sentenced to death in 1991. It was not until 2002 that DNA testing proved Krone to be innocent.
"It's just important for everyone to understand that the justice system isn't perfect and there are people out there that are behind bars for crimes they didn't commit," said Phillip Gaul, a UT senior and treasurer for Young Americans for Liberty at UT.
Young Americans for Liberty hosted the conversation. They were joined by Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty and the Knoxville Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The discussion included a growing number of conservatives who are rethinking the death penalty.
"We do exist to change that narrative because there is a fiction out there that all conservatives support the death penalty. And I'm proof that we don't and we're out there trying to change that narrative," said Marc Hyden, advocacy coordinator for Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.
It is Krone's hope that a new narrative will form in Tennessee--one that doesn't include the death penalty.
"Right now, here in Tennessee, they want to rush the executions. Tennessee has had a number of exonerations itself. We don't get it right always," Krone said. "We have a problem when we have a punishment, execution of taking someone's life, when we can't actually be absolutely sure."
Krone, originally from Pennsylvania, now lives in Newport. He is the director of membership and training for Witness to Innocence.