Kirk Bloodsworth, Advocacy Director of Witness to Innocence and a death row exoneree, will speak on wrongful convictions and the death penalty at an event open to the public at Fort Hays State University on April 17th at 7:00pm.
Bloodsworth was accused and convicted of a horrific crime: murdering and raping a nine year-old girl. The evidence used to convict him was the testimony of five eyewitnesses. He spent eight years in prison before DNA evidence proved his innocence. Bloodsworth is one of 142 individuals in the US to be sentenced to death and later found innocent.
While in prison, the Catholic Church provided spiritual support to Bloodsworth, who would convert to Catholicism. He also learned how DNA evidence had solved murders in Britain. In 1992, the prosecution agreed to DNA testing, which excluded Bloodsworth as the murderer. Ten years after the initial tests, investigators matched DNA from the case to the real killer.
In Kansas, DNA evidence has played a role in exonerating both Eddie Lowery and Joe Jones of rapes that they did not commit. To date, DNA evidence has led to the release of 305 individuals in the US wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.
Sponsoring this event at Fort Hays State University are Catholic Disciples and FHSU Students for Life.