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."


  1. Another great blog Elizabeth. You are doing an awesome job exposing the frightening epidemic of wrongful conviction in this country! Eagerly looking forward to the next installment of this fascinating series.

  2. Keep it up Elizabeth! Thank you for your hard work!