Essay on The Wrongful Incarceration Of Ryan Ferguson

Essay on The Wrongful Incarceration Of Ryan Ferguson

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Dream Killer is a documentary that details the proceedings of the wrongful incarceration of Ryan Ferguson, who was sentenced 40 years in prison for the murder of Kent Heitholt (Jenks, 2015). This case is notably one of the oddest in terms of wrongful conviction cases, because when given the facts of the case it seems utterly illogical to convict Ryan Ferguson of the crime. Kent Heitholt was brutally murdered on October 31st, 2001 and sat for two years without any leads (Jenks, 2015). However, two years later Charles Erickson, a former friend of Ryan, had a dream that he had a part in the murder and thus this whole mess was born. From the very beginning proceedings were abnormal (Jenks, 2015). Ferguson’s bail was set at $20 million dollars which is the highest bail ever set for one count of murder (Jenks, 2015). Ryan Ferguson is one of the few wrongfully convicted individuals who had access to the resources to fight his conviction (Jenks, 2015). Without the tireless fighting his family did to protest his conviction, and Kathleen Zelner’s willingness to take on the case pro bono, he would’ve served his full sentence (Jenks, 2015).
The whole trial was merely one example of the gross misconduct that can occur when those in charge of enforcing justice negate it for a conviction. This case was subject to many errors throughout its duration. One of the largest immediate inaccuracies was that this case didn’t have many of the elements necessary to constitute a crime (Gaines & Miller, 2008). There was no proof of actus reus or mens rea, no concurrence, and the attendant circumstances did not incriminate Ryan Ferguson in any way (Gaines & Miller, 2008). Additionally, during the court proceedings Ferguson was not fully informed of his pri...


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... accused (Cates, 2016).

Ryan Ferguson’s case was eventually overturned, thanks to the advocating from his family and Kathleen Zelner, as well as the fact that the two eyewitnesses admitted to perjury (Jenks, 2015). However, ten years had been lost, the criminal has never been caught, and Detective Crane is now Judge Crane, so justice still appears to be lacking (Jenks, 2015). Wrongful convictions are not a new notion, often they occur when the prosecutors get blind to the truth and focus on getting someone behind bars. A vast majority of wrongful conviction cases had material and evidence that was not disclosed at trial that often led to a different perpetrator (Cates, 2016). This is an example of making evidence fit the person instead of finding a person to fit the evidence, because of this, public safety is compromised and the innocent sit in prison (Cates, 2016).

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