LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ryan Ferguson should have been allowed to speak to students

Monday, November 25, 2013 | 4:19 p.m. CST

This letter was submitted to Hickman High School principal Tracey Conrad.

I am emailing you to issue a complaint regarding you disinviting Ryan Ferguson, from the Innocence Project, to speak to your journalism students.

My tax dollars paid to prosecute this man who served nine years in jail for a crime he did not commit. He was exonerated by a Missouri Supreme Court because DNA did not match and false witness statements.

Now my tax dollars are again funding a principal who insulted this man who has been through enough by disinviting him. You should be honored to have Ryan in your school, and it would be such a teachable moment to examine the flaws in our justice system.

Your reasons are that it would cause a disruption. You are causing a greater disruption by disinviting him and preventing free speech. I don't know if Kevin Crane is a buddy of yours or what, but in my opinion it is a cowardly move and a bad example for the children you serve.

Mary Anne Holdridge is a Columbia resident.


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Tony Black November 26, 2013 | 3:50 p.m.

Apparently, you only heard the RWNJ version of this. She allowed for the mother to come to school but was making arrangements to interview Ryan either after school hours or off school grounds to lessen the impact of him being at the school. And she doesn't dislike him, she knows high school kids. If Ryan Ferguson was there, it would have been like a rock star being there. A total disruption. They used my tax dollars too, but I don't mind.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 26, 2013 | 4:29 p.m.

Geez, Tony.

We agree.

Did you feel the earth move?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams November 26, 2013 | 4:33 p.m.

"He was exonerated by a Missouri Supreme Court because DNA did not match and false witness statements."

Is this statement true? It is my understanding the Missouri Supreme Court did no such thing.

Was he exonerated, or was the verdict vacated? Big difference.

I don't think the MSC used "did not match" or "false witness" as reasons for their decision.

Am I wrong?

(Report Comment)
Tony Black November 27, 2013 | 7:27 a.m.

It is a little scary, Michael. LOL.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith November 27, 2013 | 8:49 a.m.

@ Tony and Michael:

While it may genuinely be scary, it also has a basis in mathematical statistics: even the most diverse individuals or groups of individuals will occasionally agree on something.

Happy Thanksgiving: Froelich essen und trinken!

(Report Comment)

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