Mr Richey's supporters, including Amnesty International, had hoped his release would be a formality after the quashing of his conviction six months ago.
But Putnam County prosecutor Gary Lammers saidhe had reviewed the evidence and felt it was strong enough to go forward with a new prosecution. Mr Lammers will have to present that evidence to a grand jury and convince them it is worth putting Mr Richey back on a trial.
In the meantime, he is almost certain to remain behind bars and will be lucky if the authorities let him move off death row.
Clive Stafford-Smith, the British lawyer who has fought for Mr Richey for 15 years, said: "A man who is as patently innocent as Kenny should not be forced to endure the agonising wait that will accompany a retrial. There was no physical evidence linking Kenny to the crime. The prosecution's major witnesses have changed their story."
Mr Richey's fiancee, Karen Torley, a Scottish death penalty activist, who grew close to him while campaigning for him, said: "A new trial will prove that he was innocent all along."
Mr Richey, who has lived through 13 dates for his execution and at one point was an hour away from dying, moved to America from Scotland when he was 18 years old to live with his American father. He was arrested for the murder of Cynthia Collins just one week before he was due to return to Britain. At his trial, prosecutors said he had intended to kill her mother, his former girlfriend.
But in its ruling in January, an Ohio appeals court ruled that the trial was marred by the incompetent performance of Mr Richey's defence lawyers, whose handling of the scant forensic evidence in the case "fell far below the wide range of acceptable professional standards".
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