Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kansas City Star: Missouri Bar should investigate Judge Kevin Crane, who withheld evidence in
murder trial of recently-freed Ryan Ferguson

Ryan Ferguson, convicted of a murder via prosecutorial railroading, witnesses who later recanted their testimony, and witholding of evidence, was freed yesterday, due to the efforts of the law firm of  attorney Kathleen Zellner, whose pro bono efforts cost her about $1,200,000 in both expenses and 3,500 unbilled hours. NBC just published a piece by her which enumerated the 10 turning points in her successful campaign to free her client.
     In a recent Kansas City Star editorial, From Texas, a warning for prosecutors who cheat defendants, Barbara Shelly has called for an investigation of former prosecutor and current circuit court judge Kevin Crane:
     Based on telephone calls and emails I’ve received over the past few days, it seems that a lot of people who have followed the Ferguson case are angry at the former Boone County prosecutor, Kevin Crane, who withheld evidence that could have played a significant role in Ferguson’s trial... Prosecutors produced no physical evidence.
     Crane, who is now a Boone County judge, said in a 2012 court hearing that he still believed Ferguson and his friend were guilty.
     I don’t think we know enough about what went on in Crane’s office as he put the Ferguson case together. But, based on this opinion by a Missouri appeals court panel, the Missouri Bar should take a look at what happened, much as the Texas Bar did. The Missouri Bar also should investigate recent overturned cases that were prosecuted by Kenny Hulshof, a former assistant state attorney general who went on to serve six terms in Congress.
     On the front end, as The New York Times noted in an editorial over the weekend, judges should issue a standard written order reminded prosecutors they are ethically bound to turn over all potentially exculpatory evidence, under penalty of contempt charges if they don’t. It’s past time for courts at all levels to start treating prosecutorial misconduct as a serious and all-too-frequent problem.
     Read more here.


  1. He needs disbarred and jail time !

  2. Prosecutors and judges who withhold evidence and abuse their power must be held accountable and NOT given immunity. This abuse is costing taxpayers huge sums of tax dollars! As a senior citizen the abuse of power by those in power is growing. We need good independent oversight of the whole criminal justice system.

  3. And this man is now a Judge??? You have got to be kidding me!! He needs to be off the bench and held accountable for his actions! He had a duty to the public to be honest and forthright, as well as Ryan Ferguson and Charles Erickson. He was neither. I would hate to have a Family member, friend or associate in front of him in his Courtroom. It is a shame that person's in his position have used innocent people to crawl up the rungs of the Legal Ladder to advance their careers, put another notch on that post or improve their case win status. He should be ashamed of himself!! And, he states he "believes" that Ferguson and Erickson are "still" guilty!! This man is a complete baffoon and need some serious help! Yet, we wonder why our legal system...the greatest system in the World is so damn corrupt!! Hats off to you're a shining example as to why!!!!

  4. I've watched this case from the beginning and, as anyone would, have known that neither of the two boys were guilty of the murder and were slammed into a courtroom by people that would do anything to get the case over with and climb that ladder.

    From the police up, every single case any of them have worked on should be gone over with a fine toothed comb.

    The Brady Violation, which is what won Ryan his freedom (and there were many, as Crane withheld a lot of information), and the fact that this appeals court only needed one to overturn the verdict, leaves them still holding a large handful of other Brady Violations to beat this court with if they needed to.

    The Brady Violation is "contempt of court". No prosecutor is immune to committing a felony, which is what happened here, many times. The Brady Violation has been available for use by the public since 1963 but nearly all have been so happy to be finally free, or are financially unable to pursue the prosecutors who pull this injustice. It could be any single person in the United States and if we don't start striking back, they'll keep doing it.

  5. he needs to go to jail i believe hes also a criminal whos wrongley prosecuted others

  6. Suborning perjury (soliciting another to commit perjury) is a felony, just the same as committing perjury. But Judge Crane is PRESUMED INNOCENT. To convict him on the basis of statements made when he was not able to defend against them is no better than what happened to Ferguson. If Crane committed these acts, he is certainly not sympathetic nor deserving of pity. HOWEVER, our justice system is grounded in a calm, dispassionate process to safeguard against temper, bias, and other human emotions overtaking reason and judgment.

    The matter should be presented to a grand jury by a neutral prosecutor (one without ties to Crane or that practices in his court) to consider. If indicted, he should stand trial and have a full and fair opportunity to defend himself.

    Should it occur that two different people (now convicted of perjury) both testify that Crane suborned their perjury, and given that it is clear that neither of them had any motivation to do so beyond their claims that Crane solicited them to do so, then a jury could easily find Crane guilty. If found guilty he will be punished. If convicted, he will be removed from the bench and disbarred.

    Ryan Ferguson and his attorney (who donated over a million dollars to the case) can (and probably should) sue the county, the police department, and all of the individual actors that ALLEGEDLY violated Ferguson's rights.

  7. This has happened too many times in NC in recent decades as well.

    I would like to see a law that any prosecutor found guilty of misconduct which leads to a wrongful conviction will be subject to serving the sentence of the person wrongfully convicted, up to and including capital punishment.

    These prosecutors who use high profile cases to further their careers need to be put in check.

  8. He should be removed from the bench and disbarred.