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.

...

'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.

...

‘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.

Kansas Supreme Court strikes down judicial selection law, putting funding for courts in jeopardy

"In a case that threatens all funding for the entire state judicial branch, the Kansas Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a new law that changes the way chief judges in the lower courts are selected.

In a 43-page opinion in the case of Solomon v. Kansas written by Justice Eric Rosen, the court upheld a lower court decision that said the new law violates the separation of powers doctrine as well as Article 3 of the state constitution, which gives the Supreme Court “general administrative authority over all courts in this state.”

Editorial: Kansas lawmakers must develop system to financially compensate exonerees

"Floyd Bledsoe is free, but injustices conscripting him to prison don’t vanish with turn of a key.

His experience as a wrongly convicted and belatedly released Kansan reflects a national norm. He served 15 years for rape and murder of teenager Camille Arfmann, who was coldly struck down in Jefferson County. In the United States, men and women exonerated with aid of post-conviction DNA testing spend an average of 14 years behind bars.

Web of lies, indifference to justice led to wrong Kansas brother being imprisoned for more than 15 years

"On July 14, 2000, in Jefferson County District Court, Floyd Bledsoe was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, and that sentence was topped off by an additional 16 years for kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child.

It wouldn’t be until more than 15 years later — in the same courthouse — that a web of lies, incompetence and indifference to justice would unravel and finally set Floyd free."

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