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Kirk Bloodsworth

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By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | July 30, 2000
Kirk Bloodsworth of Cambridge is a wanted man again. The press wants him. Geraldo wants him. Congress wants him. They all want him to talk, just tell his story one more time for the record. He is an expert on his life story, and the public is prepared to believe him now. Kirk Noble Bloodsworth is telling the truth. "I'm having great difficulty putting my life together," Bloodsworth testified last month before a House subcommittee on crime. Congress is considering a bill, called the Innocence Protection Act, that would ensure convicted offenders have a chance to prove their innocence through DNA testing.
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NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2013
Kirk Bloodsworth celebrated his 20th year of freedom Friday after he was wrongfully convicted of murder in Maryland and sentenced to death. On Saturday, he joined with activists to mark other anniversaries: 41 years since the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted executions and 37 years (come Tuesday) since it allowed them to resume. Dozens who gathered in front of the court Saturday want to see the death penalty permanently abolished. They kicked off a four-day vigil and fast to bring attention to the cause.
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By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | September 9, 2004
CAMBRIDGE - This is where he always belonged, way outside any kind of city, outside rows of no-till beans invaded by wild turkeys, outside in his Eastern Shore back yard with his Weber gas grill - just plain outside. He'd like to stay, but he's needed elsewhere. Kirk Noble Bloodsworth, of thinning hair and thickening body and 44 next month, is about to embark on another phase of his story of survival. Bloodsworth, convicted of killing a 9-year-old Rosedale girl in 1984, became the first death-row inmate in the United States to be exonerated through DNA evidence.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2013
Surrounded by religious leaders, civil rights activists and others who have fought for years to stop executions in Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed legislation Thursday repealing the state's death penalty. Unless the law is overturned in a referendum, Maryland will become the 18th state to end capital punishment, leaving life without parole as the maximum penalty for any crime. "We have a responsibility to stop doing those things that are wasteful and ineffective," O'Malley, a Democrat, said before putting pen to paper.
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | May 21, 2004
After nearly 20 years, Kirk Bloodsworth said, he finds it hard to believe that the last chapter of his nightmare - the official part of it, at least - is finally over. Since July 1984, when 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton's body was discovered in a wooded area of Rosedale, Bloodsworth's name has been linked to the chilling sexual assault and murder. At first, it was linked because he was the suspect and later because he, in the eyes of the police and a jury, was the killer. DNA evidence exonerated him in 1993 and he was released from prison.
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | September 6, 2003
The same DNA evidence that freed Kirk Bloodsworth from prison 10 years ago has now implicated another man in the 1984 rape and murder of 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton of Rosedale, quashing any lingering questions about Bloodsworth's involvement in the crime. Kimberly Shay Ruffner, a 45-year-old convicted sex offender who went to prison for an attempted rape and attempted murder in Fells Point only weeks after Dawn Hamilton was killed, was charged yesterday with first-degree murder. The Baltimore County state's attorney's office - which had never publicly acknowledged Bloodsworth's innocence - announced the development, and a prosecutor apologized to Bloodsworth in person.
NEWS
September 10, 2003
JUSTICE WAS A LONG time coming for Kirk Bloodsworth. Eighteen years after the Eastern Shore man was sentenced to die for the rape-murder of a 9-year-old girl, 16 years after he was retried, convicted again and given a life prison term, a decade after DNA testing exonerated him of the crime, the evidence that set him free has led to the arrest of another man. Finally, Mr. Bloodsworth received the apology from state prosecutors that he justly deserved....
NEWS
By LINDA R. MONK | November 9, 1993
Alexandria, Virginia.--Just as Maryland was dusting off its gas chamber for the first time in 32 years, the state's Court of Appeals intervened. It is considering claims made by the relatives of confessed three-time murderer John F. Thanos that he was mentally incompetent to forgo appeals in his case. To many citizens, this is precisely the problem with the death penalty: Because of the interminable appeals process, it takes too long for the guilty to be executedKirk Bloodsworth, understandably, sees this issue differently.
NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF | March 11, 2003
A measure that would halt executions in Maryland appeared headed for a final vote in the Senate tomorrow, after one senator abandoned a last-minute attempt to weaken the bill last night. Sen. Richard F. Colburn, a Republican who represents parts of the Eastern Shore, had hoped to amend the moratorium bill to exempt the counties in his district -- Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico. But he withdrew his changes after he said Attorney General Joseph J. Curran Jr. told him they would be "unconstitutional" and violate the "equal protection" provision.
NEWS
March 28, 2013
As a strong proponent of abolishing Maryland's death penalty, I was pleased to learn that the General Assembly recently voted to eliminate the practice ("Reason over revenge, at long last," March 17). I oppose the death penalty because it is an inhumane act that serves no purpose and because it has led to wrongly convicted individuals being sentenced to death. I encourage skeptics to read the compelling story of Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander on death row who became the first inmate in the nation ever to be exonerated by DNA evidence.
NEWS
March 28, 2013
As a strong proponent of abolishing Maryland's death penalty, I was pleased to learn that the General Assembly recently voted to eliminate the practice ("Reason over revenge, at long last," March 17). I oppose the death penalty because it is an inhumane act that serves no purpose and because it has led to wrongly convicted individuals being sentenced to death. I encourage skeptics to read the compelling story of Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander on death row who became the first inmate in the nation ever to be exonerated by DNA evidence.
NEWS
By Cal Thomas | March 19, 2013
The Maryland legislature recently voted to abolish capital punishment in the state, making Maryland the sixth state in the last six years to eliminate the death penalty. The primary argument for repealing the law is that our justice system is imperfect and it's possible an innocent person could be condemned. Indeed, anti-death penalty activists presented Kirk Bloodsworth, a former death-row inmate, convicted of the 1984 rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl. His conviction was overturned on appeal after the court found the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 1, 2013
The governor's bill to repeal Maryland's death penalty survived a key vote Friday in the state Senate. After an emotional debate, senators voted 27-19 to defeat an amendment that would have kept capital punishment for murders committed along with other serious crimes. "It's an excellent harbinger for us," said Sen. Jamie Raskin, the floor leader for the pro-repeal forces. After the vote, the Senate paused its debate on the bill, which if passed would make Maryland the 18th state to eliminate the death penalty.
NEWS
By Helen Prejean and Heather Mizeur | January 17, 2013
On the heels of an election that affirmed the Free State's desire for equal opportunities and protections under the law for everyone, we see a path to another victory for fairness and justice. It's time for Maryland to abolish the death penalty. Maryland is on the cusp of putting an end to this failed experiment in orchestrated killing. Like the coalition that crossed faith, political, racial and economic boundaries to pass the Dream Act and marriage equality, a similarly strong alliance is emerging to end the death penalty and to replace it with a conviction of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
NEWS
March 12, 2012
Since 1973, at least 140 people have walked off our nation's death rows after new evidence revealed that they were sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit. That's more than one innocent person exonerated for every 10 who's been executed. Hundreds more have been exonerated from long prison sentences as a result of advances in DNA testing. Wrongful convictions like these mean victims' families suffer while the real killers remain at large and tax dollars are wasted. One might think that DNA is a magic bullet.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2012
A passionate group of advocates — including NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and an innocent man who was on Maryland's death row for two years — came to Annapolis Wednesday to argue against the state's death penalty. "For this state to continue to spend money killing the killers that are already going to spend the rest of their lives in cages ... quite frankly that is an extravagance that the state can no longer afford," Jealous said. National advocates targeted Maryland this year in repeal efforts, believing the state's Democratic-dominated legislature had the votes needed to end the death penalty.
NEWS
By STEPHANIE HANES and STEPHANIE HANES,SUN STAFF | October 24, 2003
The politicians crammed the small stage in the U.S. Capitol studio, thanking each other for bipartisan cooperation and taking turns talking about the American people, democracy and an Eastern Shore waterman named Kirk Bloodsworth. Bloodsworth, with his wind-ruddied face, dark jeans and polo shirt, beamed as these United States senators and representatives described the legislation - his legislation - that would bolster the use of DNA evidence, the same type of evidence that saved his life and, at last, freed his soul.
NEWS
March 12, 2012
Since 1973, at least 140 people have walked off our nation's death rows after new evidence revealed that they were sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit. That's more than one innocent person exonerated for every 10 who's been executed. Hundreds more have been exonerated from long prison sentences as a result of advances in DNA testing. Wrongful convictions like these mean victims' families suffer while the real killers remain at large and tax dollars are wasted. One might think that DNA is a magic bullet.
NEWS
March 3, 2011
Ron Wirsing offers a risky and implausible suggestion in his letter ("Limit death penalty appeals to three years," March 1). Death penalty appeals and habeas motions do take time. But unfortunately, that is because we have done so little to avoid the serious errors that continue to come to light many years after trial, and sometimes after all appeals have been exhausted. For example, Kirk Bloodsworth was sentenced to death in Maryland in 1985, but it took until 1993 for the results of DNA tests to conclusively prove his innocence.
FEATURES
By Rob Hiaasen and Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF | September 9, 2004
CAMBRIDGE - This is where he always belonged, way outside any kind of city, outside rows of no-till beans invaded by wild turkeys, outside in his Eastern Shore back yard with his Weber gas grill - just plain outside. He'd like to stay, but he's needed elsewhere. Kirk Noble Bloodsworth, of thinning hair and thickening body and 44 next month, is about to embark on another phase of his story of survival. Bloodsworth, convicted of killing a 9-year-old Rosedale girl in 1984, became the first death-row inmate in the United States to be exonerated through DNA evidence.
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