Archive for Saturday, May 21, 2016

Floyd Bledsoe, wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years, pushes to end death penalty in Kansas

Floyd Bledsoe shares his story with audience members on Saturday evening at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky St. Bledsoe was exonerated and released from prison late last year after serving 15 years of a life sentence where he was wrongfully convicted of murder.

Floyd Bledsoe shares his story with audience members on Saturday evening at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky St. Bledsoe was exonerated and released from prison late last year after serving 15 years of a life sentence where he was wrongfully convicted of murder.

May 21, 2016

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A man who spent more than 15 years wrongfully imprisoned for a rape and murder he did not commit shared his story in the basement of a Lawrence church on Saturday, now on a mission to encourage action against the death penalty in Kansas.

Floyd Bledsoe, 39, was released from prison in December 2015 after a judge overturned his 2000 murder conviction. He said prior to addressing the crowd of about 75 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky St., that the court system is flawed, and asked what if his case had been a death penalty case?

Floyd Bledsoe sits in prayer with his eyes closed before sharing his story with audience members on Saturday evening at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky St. Bledsoe was exonerated and released from prison late last year after serving 15 years of a life sentence where he was wrongfully convicted of murder.

Floyd Bledsoe sits in prayer with his eyes closed before sharing his story with audience members on Saturday evening at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky St. Bledsoe was exonerated and released from prison late last year after serving 15 years of a life sentence where he was wrongfully convicted of murder.

“Anytime you're dealing with somebody's life, once they're executed, there's no bringing them back. There's no, 'Hey, we're gonna appeal this,’” Bledsoe said. “Once they’re dead, they’re dead.”

He said he wants people to understand he doesn’t want them to believe in change — he wants them to be the change, get personally involved and become a voice for those who can’t have one.

“I know what it's like to be stuck and not have a way to communicate with the outside world,” he said, which is a big reason he’s taking the opportunity his situation has presented to speak out.

Bledsoe cited the Million Man March that thrust the civil rights movement of the 1960s forward.

“What if we get a million Kansans together saying, 'Enough is enough; let's stop the death penalty, because we're unsure. One life is worth everything to us,’” he said.

He wants Kansas to be ahead of the curve on the death penalty issue.

“Why don't we, instead of waiting until the end, like Kansas so notoriously does, why don't we become a forerunner and say, 'You know what? Enough is enough — let's stop this now,” he said.

Timeline: Floyd Bledsoe murder conviction overturned
● May 29, 2016 — Lawsuit filed by wrongfully convicted man details how law enforcement officials allegedly framed him
● May 21, 2016 — Floyd Bledsoe, wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years, pushes to end death penalty in Kansas
● May 10, 2016 — Floyd Bledsoe, wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years, says he was ‘framed,’ files lawsuit against Kansas justice officials
● Feb. 12, 2016 — Wrongfully convicted Floyd Bledsoe seeks videotaped interrogations in Kansas
● Feb. 8, 2016 — Kansas bill would allow $235K for wrongfully convicted man who spent 15 years in prison
● Jan. 18, 2016 — Jefferson County attorney doesn't expect further action against former sheriff, others involved in wrongful murder conviction
● Jan. 17, 2016 — Bledsoe case spurs measure to allow compensation for wrongful convictions
● Jan. 10, 2016 — Requiring that police interrogations be recorded might have prevented tragedy of wrongful conviction
● Dec. 30, 2015 — ‘Who are you going to tell?’ — Floyd Bledsoe, wrongfully convicted of murder, discusses pain of prison, journey to forgiveness
● Dec. 27, 2015 — 1999 Oskaloosa murder case reopened; possibility that killer ‘had assistance’
● Dec. 13, 2015 — Web of lies, indifference to justice led to wrong Kansas brother being imprisoned for more than 15 years
● Dec. 13, 2015 — Kansas has no law on payouts for wrongly incarcerated prisoners
Dec. 8, 2015 — Judge throws out 2000 murder conviction, frees Oskaloosa man after 15 years in prison
● Nov. 13, 2015 — Original suspect in girl's murder dies of apparent suicide as case about to be revisited
● Oct. 21, 2015 — KU Project for Innocence, Midwest Innocence Project seeks to free convicted murderer with DNA evidence
● July 8, 2012 — Objection to DNA testing not likely
● June 20, 2012 — Motion seeks DNA testing in 1999 murder of teen
● Sept. 30, 2009 — Further appeals limited in Bledsoe case
● July 5, 2009 — 1999 murder case won’t settle
● June 28, 2009 — Federal court reverses release in murder case
● Oct. 7, 2008 — Floyd Bledsoe, sentenced to life for murder of teen sister-in-law, set free; ineffective assistance of counsel cited
● Feb. 3, 2007 — Court upholds murder conviction
● Feb. 2, 2002 — Murder conviction is upheld
● Dec. 5, 2001 — Attorneys appeal conviction of teen-ager's murderer
● Dec. 2, 2001 — Oskaloosa murder case to be heard
● July 15, 2000 — Victim's family unsure justice was served
● July 15, 2000 — Bledsoe gets life
● July 14, 2000 — Bledsoe sentenced to life in prison
● June 23, 2000 — Bledsoe sentencing delayed
● May 31, 2000 — Lawyer: Mother's story changes
● April 30, 2000 — Minister supports Bledsoe in spirit
● April 28, 2000 — Bledsoe found guilty
● April 28, 2000 — Bledsoe murder case goes to jury
● April 27, 2000 — Bledsoe charges amended
● April 27, 2000 — Bledsoe prosecution rests
● April 27, 2000 — Bledsoe murder trial wrapping up
● April 26, 2000 — Tom Bledsoe seeks to explain lies
● April 26, 2000 — Bledsoe told his mother he didn't kill Arfmann
● April 25, 2000 — Pool of potential jurors knows all about case
● April 25 2000 — Trial starts in murder of girl, 14
● April 24, 2000 — Murder trial to begin today
● Dec. 10, 1999 — Family of victim tries to cope with pain, loss
● Dec. 10, 1999 — Murder suspect enters innocent plea
● Dec. 9, 1999 — Murder suspect to be arraigned
● Nov. 30, 1999 — Case pits brother vs. brother
● Nov. 18, 1999 — Friends relieved charges were dismissed against Oskaloosa man
● Nov. 16, 1999 — Wife proclaims husband's innocence in girl's death
● Nov. 14, 1999 — In-law jailed in slaying of teen-ager
● Nov. 14, 1999 — Family, friends mourn Camille
● Nov. 10, 1999 — Quiet hearing for defendant charged with girl's slaying
● Nov. 10, 1999 — Bledsoe recieves murder charge
● Nov. 9, 1999 — Police hold relative of slain girl
● Nov. 9, 1999 — Girl's death leaves family, children with questions

Comments

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 1 year, 1 month ago

I used to be pro death penalty. No more. Too many cases of people found innocent by improvements in forensic science and DNA have changed my mind. What if we executed someone, then they were later found innocent? I could not live with that.

Janet Olin 1 year, 1 month ago

It's already happened--we don't know how many times. I agree with you. Time to end this cruelty.

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