KU law professor calls arguing before High Court memorable, impactful

"A University of Kansas distinguished law professor has extra reason to be pleased with this week's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding death sentences for three Kansas men. He helped argue the case.

In addition to his KU role, Stephen McAllister works with Attorney General Derek Schmidt as the state's Solicitor General. McAllister appeared with Schmidt in October before the nation's High Court, arguing the Kansas Supreme Court incorrectly applied federal law in the death penalty cases of Reginald and Jonathan Carr and Sydney Gleason.

After 149 years, Kansas lawmakers still grappling with 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment was one of three post-war amendments that were supposed to put the issues of slavery and racial discrimination to rest. It’s the one that says, among other things, that states may not deprive their citizens of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any of them equal protection under the laws.

...

But today, 149 years later, issues that are embedded in the 14th Amendment continue to stir controversy in statehouses around the country, on issues ranging from abortion to gay rights, and from even voting rights to school finance.

A Real Dialogue for a Change

"A panel on 'Grappling with Campus Rape' was part of the 'Hot Topic' program at the American Association of Law Schools annual meeting, held January 6-10 in midtown Manhattan. Indeed, that issue has been the focus of particularly intense polemics in academia. A number of law professors, even some with strong liberal feminist credentials, have spoken out against the campus rape panic and the push for harsher measures that they say trample on students' rights.

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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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