Here’s your basic news brief style update, based on this Missourian story :
Ryan Ferguson is trying another appeal based on improper jury selection.
This time he’s appealing to the Western District Court of Appeals. In his 2005 trial, the judge allowed potential jurors to do 6 hours of community service to get out of serving jury duty. On January 9, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Richard Callahan agreed that the policy was illegal, but rejected Ferguson’s claim that it denied him the right to a fair trial. Not ready to give up, Ferguson’s current lawyer is taking the appeal to the next level.
FYI-Ryan Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of the 2001 murder of Kent Heitholt. The trial was almost entirely based on the evidence given by his friend Chuck Erickson, who “remembered” committing the murder with Ferguson after reading about it in the newspaper. If you don’t know this story, read my earlier posts about Ryan Ferguson and/or search his name on www.columbiamissourian.com or www.columbiatribune.com. I provide lots of links in my earlier posts.
My editorializing comments- Ryan’s been sitting in prison waiting for justice to give a crap about him for 4 years. I think this particular appeal seems a little desperate on the part of Valerie Leftwich (his attorney), but at this point I’d be trying anything I could get my hands on, too. I think the appeal to Jodie Asel for ineffective assistance of counsel seems much stronger, but who knows how long Asel intends to sit on it before making a decison. Meanwhile, the prime years of Ryan’s life waste away behind bars. Have I maintained journalistic objectivity?