I don't often take up causes to promote... but after watching a Dateline episode with Keith Morrison on NBC, this story outraged me! For those who haven't been keeping up with Ryan Ferguson's story over the last 10 years, I'll do my best to summarize what happened. This all happened in Columbia, MO.
Ryan and his friend Chuck snuck into a bar (under age) back when they were 17 on Halloween night. Chuck got completely wasted and Ryan gave him a ride home just after 11pm. Receipts prove this is true. Hours after they left that bar, a newspaper editor named Kent was murdered nearby as he was heading to his car around 2am.
Chuck later said he had a dream that he and Ryan were involved in the murder, but he was too drunk (and high) to remember. Interrogation video CLEARLY shows police feeding Chuck several key details about the murder. Police also convinced a local janitor to testify against Ryan, saying he was at the scene. Chuck and the janitor (Jerry) testified at Ryan's trial and Ryan was sentenced to 40 years in prison. There was a TON of physical evidence left at the scene (hair, finderprints, DNA... etc). NONE of it matched Ryan. He was convicted solely on the testimony of two confused men.
As the years went by, Chuck and Jerry were so consumed with guilt about lying at trial, that they later said they would be willing to spend the rest of their lives in prison for purgery, as long as it meant Ryan would go free. So now in addition to NO physical evidence matching Ryan, there was also no testimony putting him at the scene. He was clearly serving time in prison for a crime he didn't commit. But he still sat behind bars for years. 10 years. Missing birthdays, Christmases, and every day life with his family.
Then came a really amazing lawyer named Kathleen Zelner. She took up Ryan's case and vowed to set him free. And she did just that. Yesterday, Ryan walked out of prison a free man after a higher court ruled he had not recieved a fair trial and the state of Missouri decided not to retry him. For the first time in 10 years, Ryan put on a comfortable sweater and a new pair of shoes... and went out and had a steak and a beer with his family.
As you go about your day today, don't take your freedom for granted. And if by chance you feel like giving Ryan Ferguson a couple bucks to enjoy his new life, here's the link: https://fundly.com/ryan-ferguson-fund
The state of Missouri owes him for 10 years.What he lost in 10 years with a lot of interest
People shoudnt donate to this. We r not the reason he was wrongly in prision. He needs to sue the police department for feedin his friend info. They are the reason he was there not us. We don't owe him shit
Your a cold hearted person..hope you don't need anything in your life.
I watched the 2 programs about this case and was angry at his being railroaded...shame on the jury and the judge for not looking past the tainted words of his so called friend. his first lawyer missed so many things.Like why the 2nd witness did not in court point at him and say he was there, he should have asked her after the prosecutor didn't RED FLAG THANK GOD A COURT REALLY LOOKED AT THE CASE.Never look back enjoy your life.
bad things happen to good people
Such is life. Sorry this happened to you Ryan. Enjoy your freedom
Pretty sure the Police that convicted him based on lies should pay him for the time spent in jail, He should sue the police department and the janitor.
Happy for Ryan
I was also outraged after watching the TV shows, especially after the one witness recanted during the hearing, cried and asked Ryan for forgiveness for lying and the judge still said there was not enough evidence to free him. I am so happy that he is finally free and also so happy he didn't have to spend any more time than he did waiting for someone to figure it out with the power to free him! Enjoy your life and your family Ryan!
Go think that it's that easy to be wrongfully accused and sent to prison for ten years for a crime you did not commit. Ya we owe him they all owe him and as far as I'm concerned those involved should be punished themselves. How do you sit on a jury and commit purely on he said she said. CRAP!!!!
glad your free
I'm happy that your free & now you can leave life.
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Here's a couple of my favorite Ty Herndon songs from the 90's:
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(photo: carla da souza campos/Flickr)
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