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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Posts

If you didn't know and are visiting this blog, I no longer post to it. I am busy running and posting on eadavisblog.wordpress.com  just an fyi.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Moving :)

Please visit the new page at: www.ajournalisticapproach.com and the new Cafe Press webstore at http://www.cafepress.com/ajournalisticapproach

Thank you all for your continued support!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Long Time Coming

I had just developed a substantial reader base and was interested in the stories the I would publish here. I had a great time doing it and I do not intend to stop, nor did I intend to take a break, but I had to. This is my explanation to all of you who may be wondering what happened to me.
It was the execution of Troy Davis...that was something that has taken control of my mind and left me feeling helpless and hopeless. I took a personal interest into several individuals that I felt were wrongly convicted given the evidence and the heartfelt stories of their families. When petitions needed to be signed and calls made to try to put a stop to his sentence to death I jumped at the chance to see him have at least his life if not his freedom, but we all know how that turned out.
Troy's story made national headlines and there was an outcry from the nation to this injustice. I heard some snide comments about him being black and that is why he got so much attention, but to those who made the comments you are simply fools. He was a human being and deserved a fair trial which he never got. There are so many others like him that luckily have not been sentenced to death but instead are serving life terms in prison. At the very least their families can find small comforts in phone calls, letters, and visits. Troy's family has lost that.
I suppose I took this very personally. I cried for days over a man that I had never met and for a gross injustice. To this very day he is in my mind and heart, as is his family. I will continue to pursue my interests in journalism but for now I think I will focus on stories versus interviews until I can overcome this feeling. I still read information posted about Rodney Lincoln, Michael Amick, Ryan Ferguson, etc. but when Troy lost his life I felt that I had somehow personally let him down. In reality I know that I alone could do very little however, the feeling consumes me.
I've tried to continue to live my life taking a break from school and this blog so that I could regroup. In a way it has helped some. I want there to be people in this world who care and who can see that punishments of death should only be inflicted upon the accused by God as only God knows the true heart of the accused. We spend far too much time persecuting others and it makes me wonder if it is because we have lost the faith in God to deliver the appropriate justice. I don't want to push my religious beliefs on anyone and that isn't my intention, but I think that in our day to day lives that God has become an afterthought when he should most definitely be the forethought.
I hope that for my loyal readers that this will clarify some things for you and know that I am sorry to have distanced myself or if you felt that I have let any of you down, especially when it comes to being an advocate for the wrongly accused. I haven't forgotten. My Rodney Lincoln pin sits right next to my bed on the nightstand and I see it every single day. I continue to pray for your families. Please accept my sincerest of apologies.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just an FYI

Dear dedicated readers, I am now up in the range of over a 1,000 and yet you have not had a new blog to read for awhile. I just wanted to let you know that I have been on hiatus due to my midterms and focusing on my grades. I assure you that I have a few interviews lined up for your reading pleasure in the near future. Thank you for being patient with me and your understanding. To be the best journalist I can be I must focus on my education first, experience comes second. God Bless!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Justice in Injustice?




Something is very wrong with the justice system in this country, especially here in Missouri. Ryan Ferguson and Michael Amick have both been found guilty for murder in crimes that contained no evidence whatsoever to convict them. In the case of Ryan Ferguson, he was convicted based on a "dream" that his high school friend Chuck Erikson had. Mr. Erikson was questioned by the police and although Mr. Erikson had no real information as to what happened to Mr. Heinholt the night of the murder, and stated that he could be fabricating the whole thing, the police supplied him with information to create a confession and led him to believe that Ryan had pinpointed him as the murderer and was going to make a statement against him. Despite the interrogation techniques being exposed and the fact that Chuck and the other witness who testified have since both recanted their statements saying due to police pressure and coercion forced them to point out Ryan, he still sits in prison awaiting a new the police pressure and coercion forced them to point out Ryan, he still sits in prison awaiting a new trial.
The case of Michael Amick is full of holes, tangles, and lies told by the police department in Myrtle, MO. The trial consisted of unreliable eyewitness testimony and a lot of covering up of the corruption that grips the town. Without a shred of evidence against Michael he was convicted and left to sit in prison. Mr. Amick was accused of killing his grandmother-in-law and burning her house down. There is nothing linking him to the crime but against all reason and logic he was sentenced to life without parole. Their families can do nothing but stand by and watch this nightmare play out over and over again while their loved ones are locked away. There are so many heart wrenching points to both of these cases and I could type them out here, but they both have Facebook groups with documents and resources of facts that would tell their stories better than I could here.
My purpose in this blog is to enlighten my fellow Missourians that there is a huge problem here. At this rate anybody could spend their life in prison just because someone else said you did something wrong. Evidence? What evidence? Apparently, here in Missouri they don't need any stinking evidence to convict you...your fate is sealed when you are handcuffed by the police. Somebody has to take the fall, right? Might as well be you. I have gone over Mr. Amick's and Mr. Ferguson's cases for hours, days, etcetera. These cases are all over the country but especially here in Missouri. I took a special interest in them when I found out because my uncle, Mark McCord, is also in prison here in Missouri for a murder in which he has always maintained his innocence. There wasn't any proof and I do not believe that he is capable or murdering someone and then burning down their house. Sure, like many people he has made some mistakes in his life, some of which were due to drinking, but a murderer he is not!
You want to know what really bites my ass about these cases? Casey Anthony! Here is a woman that by most public opinion, if not all public opinion, is guilty as sin and yet she is free to live her life. Her two year old daughter disappears and it isn't report for months! There was enough evidence there to convict Casey Anthony on at least some aspects of the case, but not a shred of evidence to convict Ryan or Michael in their cases. I just don't understand how these things happen. Let's say Casey Anthony didn't kill her daughter, let's say that someone else did it...either way she could've at least been an accessory to murder. She knew about it, she lied. She said that it was an accident. I'm sorry, if it were an accident I would've done everything in my power to call emergency personnel and try to bring life back into my baby the best I could. CPR or whatever.
Troy Davis in Georgia was given the death penalty and has an execution date set for a murder conviction. Seven of the nine eyewitness statements have been recanted and yet he sits on death row with just over a week left to live. They said that he failed to prove his innocence?! How do you prove that you are innocent when they can't even prove you are guilty? In a court of law where you are supposed to be deemed innocent until proven guilty you shouldn't have to prove your innocence. After all, it is your word against theirs, right? So if neither side can prove anything then let sleeping dogs lie. For the sake of being unbiased, let's say that any of these men had committed a crime. I understand the need and the desire to keep our communities safe. However, if you can't prove their guilt then you aren't keeping your communities safe at all, because the chances that the real criminals are out there among you right now.
These cases affect each and every one of us as it could be any of us or any of loved ones in this position. I urge you to look into what is going on with our justice system, I urge you to take a stand for the wrongly convicted, and I urge you to show your support to the families of these men. It is with a heavy heart that I tried to tackle this assignment. I will admit that my personal feelings completely took over on the subject of injustice as I too have experienced this.
When a woman such as Casey Anthony is free to walk away from a court, smiling and feeling good about herself though we all know she has nothing to feel good about, there is something tragically wrong. I would've cried for my baby every day and not even wanted to live when I've lost my only child. I want to be around to see Ryan Ferguson, Michael Amick, Troy Davis, Mark McCord, and the many others fighting for their lives to be with their families again, to walk free in the sunlight, holding the hands of their children, sisters, brothers, parents, or whomever their families may be. To see them walk away unscarred and able to put this nightmare behind them. I want the courts to change and uphold what they claim to be, JUST. If you are just then things like this do not happen. You continue to build a case and find the real criminal or at least prove that the suspect did it. If you can't do that then it's a cold case until you get a break. Unfortunate for those who have been victimized, but feeling justified doesn't mean just labeling someone and slapping him behind bars so that you can feel better about what happened.
Nothing takes the pain of the victims away and convicting the wrong person is far worse than convicting nobody at the time. You are taking away their lives which on this earth are short enough. So please think and consider what I have said here today. If you would like to show your support you can find their groups on Facebook which will lead you to other groups and other families in the same situation. The great late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."





Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview with John Pertzborn of Fox 2 News

Fox 2 News in the morning is compiled of several great personalities that mesh so well together, which is why it is my preferred news station. However, out of all of the personalities on the program the one that stands out to me the most is that of John Pertzborn. A native of Wisconsin he has been in Saint Louis since 1986 and happy to be here. On a whim and not actually expecting him to agree I asked if he would be willing to let me interview him for my blog. Being the kind person that he is, agreed and was more than hospitable when Clayton (my new editor) and I arrived. Mr. Pertzborn took us around the studio and offices. I was in pure amazement. I had been interviewed once on the news a very long time ago, I didn't get the chance to really see much. It was great experience for me being a journalism student.
I got to sit behind the desk with John and Clayton commented that it seemed I fit there and that it seemed natural and comfortable to me. I will admit that I was up very late last night filled with excitement, waiting in anticipation for this interview. It was all that I had hoped for and so much more. I will say that John is as friendly, funny, and as real in person as he is on the air. I figured that he was, but you can never be too sure. Clayton and I stood with him as we watched a segment that was being taped with Tim Ezell and milkshakes from Fountain at Locust, which we got to partake in. They were delicious!
After today I can truly say that not only has he furthered my aspirations, but I can say wholeheartedly that he is one of the most fantastic and admirable people that I have had the pleasure of meeting. A gentleman and a scholar, Mr. Pertzborn provided me with a wealth of information and kept his opinions honest. He stated that journalism is not a glamorous job and you have to be sure that you really want to do it. I've never been so sure of anything my whole life. I could turn my life alone into a novel, but I prefer to look at the lives of others. Maybe one day I will have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pertzborn's acquaintance again, but it will be memory that I forever cherish!

I want to personally thank Mr. Pertzborn and the entire Fox 2 news staff for their time and allowing me to come in today. Oh, and John Pertzborn is the authority on bow ties, expect them on Tuesdays. Hear the interview below and enjoy!

video












Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trautwein Elementary Remembers 9-11

I had the pleasure of visiting the 9-11 commemorative ceremony at Trautwein Elementary in Mehlville, MO on Friday afternoon. After raining the weather cleared enough for the ceremony to commence and was held under gray skies.  The focus was not as much on the horrible events that took place, but rather a celebration of the heroism from the men and women that pulled together to find survivors.
The principal, Dr. Wagener, stood at the microphone to explain to the children that they were placing flags in the yard to honor those who lost their lives that day. The children placed their flags into the mulch covered area as instructed, but you could tell that they didn't fully understand the significance of what happened on September 11, 2001.
It is just as well seeing as though they are elementary school students. However, to participate in such an event is momentous as hopefully it will be something that they will remember throughout their lives. One day they can understand what truly happened that day.
Some of our local police, fireman, and servicemen were honored at the ceremony. I spoke to Dr. Wagener about the event and asked if she felt that children that were born around that time or after could ever truly grasp what we went through that day. She responded, "No. Absolutely not. I still don't grasp it myself." I also asked what the school had done to prepare or inform the children ahead of time to explain why they were holding the ceremony.
The school was sent a video to show the classes that focused on the nation pulling together and not of the terrorism that forever changes our lives. When I asked her how she would suggest that parents broach the subject with their children she said, "Well, that is why we held this ceremony and placed the flags. We wanted a place for parents to go with their children and talk to them about their stories of that day."
I felt the tears begin to flood my eyes when I saw only one man in his military garb, the father of one of the students, salute as they sang "God Bless America." You could tell that he had a personal understanding of what 9-11 meant for so many Americans throughout the country. I thank Dr. Wagener and the students for having me there to be a part of it and to the military men and women for their service.