Bill Ferguson Testifies for Senate Bill

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JEFFERSON CITY - Ryan Ferguson's father, Bill Ferguson, testified before a Missouri Senate committee hearing Monday night in favor of a bill that would change some provisions related to how law enforcement uses eyewitness testimony.

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Bill Ferguson testified in favor of SB 732, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, would require law enforcement to record interrogations and interviews, change the way DNA evidence is collected, and change the way eyewitness testimony is used in court cases.

He was scheduled to testify for the bill on Feb. 17, but the hearing was pushed back to Monday night after a Senate filibuster lasted late into the evening.

Ferguson says the bill would help fix a flawed system.

"Obviously, the system cannot correct itself," Ferguson said. "It's out of control. I think we need strong legislation like this to help the prosecutors and the system correct itself. This is inexcusable."

Ferguson said the bill would help law enforcement officers conduct eyewitness testimonies.

"The prosecution needs help, the police need help," Ferguson said. "They cannot police themselves. So this bill is what I would call a common sense bill."

Joining Ferguson at the hearing in support of the bill was Josh Kezer. Kezer was exonerated in 2009 after spending 15 years behind bars for murder.

Those who oppose the bill said it may make it more difficult for law enforcement to process cases and press charges against suspects.

Ryan Ferguson was not present at the hearing. His father said Ryan was in Florida.