One of the tenets of the American justice system is the swift carriage of justice and a trial by a jury of one’s peers. In theory, this should make for a reasonable system where individuals are given an opportunity to defend themselves and make their case in court. Unfortunately, for many people of color in America, the justice system has proven to be anything but just.
Wrongfully accused individuals are often incarcerated for decades before an appeal can be heard, assuming they can afford to get a lawyer interested in their case. Mark Godsey is the director and co-founder of The Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The OIP harnesses the energies and intellect of law students to identify inmates in Ohio prisons who are innocent of the crimes they are convicted of.
The state of Kansas would have done far more for wrongly convicted Floyd Bledsoe had he actually committed the murder for which he spent 15 years in prison.
If he had been a killer, Bledsoe would have been matched by the Kansas Department of Corrections with a mentor capable of helping him find a post-release job and housing. To prepare for parole, a convicted murderer would enroll in financial management classes and work-release programs. As he stepping beyond the prison wall, Bledsoe would have been handed $100 cash and 90 days of prescription medication.
He got none of that, and existing law in Kansas serves to compound the error.
Work of the Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies at the University of Kansas law school led to compelling DNA evidence that Jefferson County officials convicted the wrong person in the 1999 death of
The Local Impact: The McPherson Police Department hopes to respond faster to reports of child abductions through a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other participating agencies.
The McPherson Police Department is joining forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Abduction Rapid Response Team, or JCARD.
The JCARD is a newer concept to the FBI and will be comprised of local and state law enforcement agencies in which the FBI will assist with the coordination. The program has successfully increased the success rate of returning abducted children home unharmed in other jurisdictions.
The department found it necessary to join for two reasons: coordination in advance means agencies can respond faster, which increases chances of positive outcomes, and the department can better use resources together than working separately.
“The added resources from both the FBI and the other member agencies
In the months following Maura’s disappearance, Fred wrote to the New Hampshire governor’s office, pleading for his assistance in urging the State Police to accept help from the FBI. He said he never heard back and in the meantime had filed a Freedom of Information Act so that he could see what authorities were doing about his daughter’s case. He told the Daily Collegian in January 2005 that he would even hang out in local bars, hoping to overhear any snippet of info in case anyone was talking about Maura.
He enlisted a team of private investigators and they too had a falling out over disagreements about the way information was being shared, or not shared, but the PIs continued to work the case on their own.
Fred alleged that the police refused to properly investigate the possibility that Maura had been abducted. “There’s a bad guy on their turf in their backyard,”
The marks from her thumb resembled an inkblot or an ultrasound image more than a fingerprint.
They were splotchy and had few of the unique curves and ridges that might allow investigators to determine her identity. Two fishermen had found her body on Feb. 18, 1994, in a creek just east of the Arkansas River in northwest Pulaski County. She’d been shot to death a few days earlier.
The sheriff’s office distributed pictures of her clothing and jewelry, hoping someone might recognize them. They examined dental records in search of a match. And they reviewed missing persons cases, looking for anything that might lead them to the woman’s identity.
But the woman in the creek remained nameless for decades.
The Pulaski County sheriff’s office announced Friday that the FBI had used advanced fingerprint analysis to identify the woman as Cynthia