Retrial in fire death for 'Chicago' Robinson to start in February

"The retrial of a man charged with the 2006 slaying of a woman who died in a downtown fire will start on Feb. 27, a Shawnee County District judge said Thursday.

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On Aug. 19, Shawnee County Chief Judge Evelyn Wilson issued the ruling overturning Robinson’s murder conviction in the death of Marvina Washington, 53, and ordered that he be tried again.

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Shawnee County judge overturns man's conviction of murder citing previous trial was unfair

"Ten years after the body of fire victim Marvina Washington, 53, was lowered from a second-floor window of her burned-out central Topeka apartment, the conviction of defendant Frank Jerome 'Chicago' Robinson was overturned this month.

'Upon extensive review of the record and the parties' arguments, this court concludes that (Robinson) was not fairly convicted and, therefore, vacates his conviction,' Shawnee County Chief Judge Evelyn Wilson ruled.

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A Kansas man who spent nearly 16 years in prison for a killing his brother later admitted to testified for a measure that would require law enforcement to record some interrogations

 "A Kansas man who spent nearly 16 years in prison for a killing his brother later admitted to testified for a measure that would require law enforcement to record some interrogations.

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Alice Craig, Bledsoe's attorney with the University of Kansas' Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence, supports the interrogation recordings.

'We cannot say 16 years later how that would have impacted the investigation, but it could not have hurt,' Craig said."

A Case for Innocence: Students, non-profits work to protect rights of accused

"This is the scene inside the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies. All those files represent the life of a person in a Kansas correctional facility. It is those files that law students will be pouring over to determine if they can make a case to win that person a new trial and another chance at freedom or, at least, a more fair sentence - if it's warranted.

Kansas House bill influenced by Floyd Bledsoe case to require videotaped interrogations

"Legislation introduced Tuesday, inspired in part by the exoneration of Floyd Bledsoe last December, would require law enforcement agencies to videotape interrogations of murder defendants in Kansas.

Rep. Ramon Gonzalez, R-Perry, introduced House Bill 2593 to mandate recorded interrogations of suspects arrested in connection with capital murder, first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

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Alice Craig, Bledsoe’s attorney with the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence at the University of Kansas, supports the recording of interrogations.

Four Shots in Oskie: How Tom Bledsoe (almost) got away with murder, Part 3: The trial of Floyd Bledsoe

"The tragic death of 14-year-old Camille Arfmann became a dual tragedy with the wrongful conviction of Floyd Bledsoe. A sheriff’s hunch and apparent misrepresentation of polygraph results led to his arrest; a prosecutor’s fabrications, teamed with alleged act of incompetence by his defense attorney, led to his conviction; and the repeated falsehoods of his brother kept him behind bars for nearly 6,000 days.

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'I don’t think they know how it happened, which is troubling,' said Alice Craig, Floyd’s trial attorney. 'Investigators look back on it and they’re mortified.'

Four Shots in Oskie: How Tom Bledsoe (almost) got away with murder, Part 2: The search for Camille Arfmann

"The case of Camille, like thousands of others, has benefitted from the advent of improved forensics testing. In 2013, the Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies at the University of Kansas asked the Serological Research Institute to test the sexual assault kit again, along with Camille’s clothing. Casseday Baker, a forensic serologist, published his results on Sept. 2, 2015. News articles about Baker’s findings were read on Tom’s cellphone not long before he ended his life."

 

 

Four Shots in Oskie: How Tom Bledsoe (almost) got away with murder, Part 1: The confessions of Tom Bledsoe

"On a cold, wintry day in late December, Floyd sat calmly in an office at the University of Kansas’ Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies. It had been three weeks since his life sentence for first-degree murder was vacated and he was released from a cell at Lansing Correctional Facility. He was ready for his first interview.

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‘Who are you going to tell?’ — Floyd Bledsoe, wrongfully convicted of murder, discusses pain of prison, journey to forgiveness

"During the 15 years that Floyd Bledsoe was wrongfully imprisoned, he had plenty of time to think about the murder of 14-year-old Zetta 'Camille' Arfmann.

Who really did it?

Was it his brother, Tom Bledsoe, who initially confessed in 1999 and then recanted?

Did the killer act alone?

There was one name, however, that he never considered.

Last fall, when Floyd saw a report with the results of newly tested DNA, he wasn’t too surprised that the results incriminated his brother.

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