Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ryan Ferguson

Sometimes, you see something that moves you in such a way that it is hard to find words...

In 2011, I watched an episode of the TV show, Dateline, which airs here on Friday night. It is usually about murder cases and the trial which come afterwards.  This case was about a young man who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a murder and his name is Ryan Ferguson. 
The first show that I saw spelled out the details of the case and showed the trial that came afterwards, but there were certain things that just did not ring true.  I felt so strongly about it that I wanted to write a letter to this young man and tell him so.  During the trial, he always maintained his innocence and nothing the cops could do would shake him from this.  I wanted to let him know that I believed him.
Then, just this past November, there was another episode of Dateline and now the witnesses who identified him as the killer have come forward and both have said they lied.  The law is very difficult to understand sometimes.  Ryan Ferguson is still in prison even with this new evidence.  This is just something that I feel very strongly about and I wanted to share this with you.  The story about this is stated very simply by his Dad and he asks for people to sign a petition and I notice that you may do so even if you are from another country.   I don't know that I have ever signed a petition in my life.  I signed this one.
I have spent a lot of time reading and researching this, so this is not just based on seeing two TV shows.
And yet, I still come back to my very first gut-feeling about this young man: he is innocent. Hey, I am not a lawyer or an expert on anything. I just sometimes see things that I think are unfair and wish they could be corrected.

Did you read my post about Richard Jewell?  As in the case of Richard Jewell, there are times that mistakes can be made and I truly believe that this is one of those times. (Richard Jewell was completely cleared although the stigma was too great to bear and I think this contributed to his early death.)
 I hope that Ryan Ferguson will be released from jail one day. When I wrote my Stone Mountain post a few days ago, and wished you "love and freedom", I was also thinking of this young man and wishing the same for him.  I have two links here for you to read:  

  http://www.justiceforryanferguson.com/index.html

http://www.change.org/petitions/please-grant-ryan-ferguson-a-new-trial-or-freedom


 New appeal filed on behalf of Ryan Ferguson and the link is here...


The song by Glen Campbell is one that I have been humming all week long... HOLD ON HOPE.



38 comments:

  1. Miscarriages of justice do happen and I feel bad for those whose lives are blighted by them. I hope the truth ultimately triumphs in this case.

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    1. Since March of 2004, he has been in prison. It will be difficult for the law to admit mistakes were made and release him. His new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, is determined to free him even if she has to take it to the State Supreme Court.

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  2. I work in a prison. I would not want anyone innocent to spend one minute in one. Sometimes the wrong lawyer, bad luck, and not being monied are as damning as evidence. I hope this case is reviewed and the judgement overturned.

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    1. Dear Betsy,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I agree with you so much.
      In this case, there is also the factor that the case was three years old and the community was clamoring for justice.

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  3. So sad when you see someone misjudged. Just lately it seems I've heard about several that have been proven innocent because of DNA tests. Even though they were innocent they spent time in prison until this new evidence came to light. I can't even imagine how this affected their lives.

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    1. An attorney who goes to my church worked with a man who had been in prison for years and was able to get his DNA tested,and the man was innocent, just as he had been proclaiming for years.
      Funny thing, when the ex-prisoner who was really innocent came to our church, there was still that feeling of distrust from people, I could feel it even though he gave an impassioned talk about his great belief in God. He said, and I have never forgotten this, when you are alone in a jail cell and not knowing what your future will be, you either find God or go insane with anger and frustration.

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  4. Justice is so often not really served. I know most of our countried pride themselves on their systems of law and justice, but they can always only be fallible, as humans are fallible. Hopefully, Ryan Ferguson will have his name cleared and walk free soon! Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Kay. You have such a good heart and strong sense of justice.

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    1. I don't know if you can see any of the TV episodes online but please read about him if you get the chance.
      There are many people who believe in his innocence.
      Let me know what you think.

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  5. To be locked away without any DNA, fingerprint or blood related evidence is just wrong. Now that these two witnesses have changed their story, he may eventually be released. It's a very disturbing story.

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    1. It is disturbing. If anything comes up about this case, I will mention it here on my blog.

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  6. These stories can be very scary. Who could be next?

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    1. You are right, this could have happened to anyone.

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  7. Hello Kay,
    Such a sad story and not helped by the so called witnesses! It happens a lot sadly. My partner is a barrister and it's a mine field but you do get a feeling for the truth both ways - so many stories!! I shall read your links. Thank you.
    Ivan

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    1. Thanks, Ivan, for your comment. If you get the chance to read about this, let me know what you think.

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  8. We all know miscarriages of justice do happen but when one is blatantly obvious it is very saddening that the victim should spend even an extra hour in prison.

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    1. And meanwhile, the real murderer is walking free.
      Such a sad case but I am hopeful that Ryan Ferguson's new attorney will be able to free him. It might take a while but I am hopeful for him.

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  9. Oh, Kay, this is a disturbing story. I've signed the petition and hope justice will be done soon. Thank you for posting something about it; otherwise I wouldn't have known.

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    1. Thank you, Kristi, for taking the time to read about this and for signing the petition.

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  10. Wow, that type of story makes me so sad. I know mistakes can happen but someone's life is at stake. And, yes, sometimes the stigma can be too hard to bear.....even once the truth comes out. So sad.

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    1. Let me know if you hear about anything about this case, Audrey. Honestly, you would think this poor young man was my own son, I am so worried about him.
      I knew you would understand my concern about this case.
      Take care, my sweet friend in Carolina! xx

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  11. Hi Kay

    For 5 years(1989-1994), I worked in the Home Office Dept dealing with miscarriages of justice. Our role was to recommend a Royal Pardon or refer cases back to the Court of Appeal where new evidence came to light suggesting that the index conviction was not 'satisfactory'.

    During my time there, I did not have occasion to recommend or refer any cases despite over 300 files crossing my desk. That gives an indication of the odds.A colleague dealt with the case of Derek Bentley - which you will know about from Richard and Ralph Mc Tell- which,eventually, resulted in a Free Pardon.

    Fingers crossed in this instance.

    Incidentally, my father used to drink with the Bentleys, one of the policemen on the warehouse roof became our local tobacconist, the warehouse was opposite the pub I used for many years, a fellow school pupil directed the film 'Let Him Have It Chris' and Ralph Mc Tell went to the same school as Richard and me.

    Henry

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    1. Dear Henry,
      Thanks so much for you comment here. I wonder, if this case had come across your desk, would they have allowed you to process it, so to speak, since you have such close ties to Croydon? Just wondering...
      Also, that is amazing if that is the only case that resulted in any further investigation. I daresay that there are many here that could use a closer scrutiny.

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  12. Hi Kay,
    These kinds of situations make me crazy. There are too many miscarriages of justice, which is why I adamantly oppose the death penalty. Better for many guilty escape it, than one innocent to be put to death. I just don't get why the justice system has such a difficult time admitting when it has been wrong and then setting things right. Have a good week!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read about this.
      It is just so sad. If I hear of any good news on this case, I will do another post.
      Hope you have a good week too!

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  13. Dear Kay -
    Thank you for sharing Ryan Ferguson's story. Very sad! And scary (for all of us, too). I hope he will be released soon.
    Take care,
    Loi

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read about his case.
      And you are right, this should be frightening for anyone in the USA.
      Thanks for your comment. You have such a lovely blog, I love it!

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  14. I am praying for him and his family as well Kay. You should be commended for keeping his story alive online--so many are forgotten.

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  15. There is much about our current judicial system that troubles me greatly. For both guilt and innocence often gets pushed aside in favor of insuring that the rules are followed to the letter. It literally send shock waves through my soul when I heard about Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia contending that proof of innocence is not enough to overturn a guilty verdict rendered by a jury if the jury was acting on good faith in the evidence presented at the trial.

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    1. It troubles me too. "The law is an ass"...Charles Dickens got so many things right in his observations of life.

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  16. I never heard about this case being from Ireland. I googled it and was very shocked. I hope Ryan can get proven innocent.

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    1. Thanks very much for your comment. It is shocking and very sad.
      I will have updates on my blog, I hope that I will be able to do one day saying that he has been set free!
      Thanks for visiting my blog, I appreciate it.

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  17. Hi Kay,
    I too have been following Ryan's case and trying to help get attention for it. There is going to be a panel discussion tomorrow night held on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus (in the law school) talking about Ryan's case. His lawyer Kathleen Zellner and others are going to discuss his case and open it up for questions; 48 Hours is filming it. If you look on the facebook page (free ryan ferguson) there are more details and a link so you can watch it (I think live). It starts Monday night at 6:30 Central. FREE RYAN

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    1. Oh, thanks so much for your comment here.
      I didn't know about this so I thank you for telling me.
      I wish more people could know about Ryan Ferguson and his story, maybe more will see this on Facebook and the future show on 48 Hours.
      Thanks again.

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  18. Thank you so much for keeping Ryan's story in the spotlight. Ryan's parents, Bill & Leslie Ferguson are hosting a Q&A Session tonight for anyone out there who lives close enough to attend. There are many websites available to research this case. For anyone who would like to support Ryan and believes in his innocence, please considering signing the Petition @ Change.Org as well as "Like" his Facebook page to bring awareness in our state of Missouri. FreeRyanFerguson.com JusticeForRyanFerguson.com #FreeRyanFerguson #RyanFerguson and Free Ryan Ferguson - Facebook page (About section) Thank you so much!! Linda -St. Louis MO

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    1. Thank you for leaving this comment. I try to tell everyone I can about Ryan Ferguson. I totally believe in his innocence and I did so even before those witnesses admitted that they lied on the stand.
      Thanks again for leaving this info on here. I encourage everyone to read about Ryan's case and to sign the Petition at change.org. Thanks, Linda!

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  19. PS this is the link for the Q&A Session tonight (April 25 2013) http://freeryanferguson.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Ryan-Flyer.pdf

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    1. Sorry, I just saw this comment on the 26th, so I missed it, but I hope his parents received a lot of good support from this session!

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