Ryan Ferguson was released from custody ten years after his murder conviction. His conviction spotlights a number of issues regarding murder trials in the U.S. Specifically, how jurors can get things very wrong.
One of those jurors is not remorseful, stating, according to ABC news that they were wrong to rely so heavily on the witnesses who testified against Ferguson. The juror also stated that Mr. Ferguson’s defense attorney was confusing and hard to follow.
The two witnesses who testified against the now released Ferguson have recanted. None of the DNA or fingerprint evidence that was gathered at the scene pointed to Ferguson. In essence, there is now no real evidence against him.
Unfortunately, in criminal defense matters across the country, jurors rely heavily on witness testimony. There is an interesting article here that discusses exactly how wrong witness testimony can be, and how faulty the human mind can be when identifying a suspect.
Of course, in this case, it is even trickier because Ferguson’s witnesses lied under oath. It goes to show that the criminal defense system can be perverted easily. It also goes to show that the quality of your criminal defense attorney can make a very big difference.
Fortunately, Mr. Ferguson is young and has a life ahead of him. How many people are languishing in jail, wrongfully convicted, with no chance of freedom?
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