2018 Abolition Conference panelists: (left to right) Bob Weeks, Floyd Bledsoe, Richard Ney
“The Kansas criminal justice system is too imperfect to trust it with the death penalty. I know from spending over 16 years in a Kansas prison for a murder I didn’t commit until DNA and other evidence proved my innocence…..
My case shows the danger in believing that Kansas is immune from this risk. In 1999, I was wrongfully convicted of a murder in Oskaloosa. The murder occurred after the advent of DNA technology, but it failed to protect me at the time. By ignoring key evidence and relying on questionable testimony, officials became convinced of my guilt….
What happened to me is a tragedy. I am thankful, though, that I am alive and have had the opportunity to rebuild my life. If someone is wrongfully executed, it is an injustice that the state is powerless to address.
Kansas can—and should—eliminate that risk by ending the death penalty now. There is no reason for lawmakers to put off this needed reform any longer.”
Floyd Bledsoe, Kansas exoneree on HB 2282