My blog stats are showing that most of my random hits are from people searching for information about Ryan Ferguson’s appeals. As a blogger and a thinking human being, I have a very strong opinion about Ryan’s conviction. As a journalist who once covered the story, I feel a small nagging to remain neutral in my writing lest I ever have a chance to cover new developments for a news organization. That being said, I want to help anyone reading this blog who wants to know what’s happening with Ryan Ferguson.
If you need the backstory, check my older post. Another good link I’ve found is this magazine story– it gives an interesting and fairly complete recounting of Kent Heitholt’s murder, Chuck Erickson’s muddled confession, and Ryan Ferguson’s conviction despite all the contradictions and lack of evidence against him.
Here’s the latest news I could find on Ryan’s appeals:
January 9, 2009- Judge Richard Callahan denied Ferguson’s appeal based on improper jury selection. This appeal claimed that the jury selection wasn’t fair because Lincoln County allowed potential jurors to get out of serving by doing community service, preventing the jury from being a fair random sample of the population. Callahan thought the jury selection was fair. Ruling in favor of the appeal could have unleashed a plethora of appeals from cases decided in that county based on improper juror selection- so this ruling is in the favor of overall damage control. Read the Tribune story here.
Judge Jodie Asel has yet to rule on Ferguson’s civil appeal. It claims that former prosecutor Kevin Crane (now a judge) withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense during the murder trial in 2005. This would mean that Crane had evidence that would have helped Ryan’s defense, and illegally kept the information from Ryan’s lawyers. Asel said she wouldn’t announce her decision until after Callahan’s ruling. *See my comment below for more information on this appeal (the exculpatory evidence as well as Ryan’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel).
That’s all I can find for now. I will continue to post updates as I find them. Please feel free to comment with opinions or share any relevent info/links you’ve come across.