Ferguson on the beach
COLUMBIA - (Editor's update: The @LifeAfterTen Twitter account is back up after being suspended late Thursday. KOMU 8 News is working to find out why Twitter took action). Ryan Ferguson is embracing social media, saying his goal is "changing the justice system and helping other people prove their innocence."
He has launched a Twitter account that reflects his nearly decade-long battle to be freed from prison: @lifeafterten.
Ferguson was released in November after an appeals court vacated his conviction in the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sportswriter Kent Heitholt.
Ferguson's first tweet was directed at ABC legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams, who welcomed him to twitter. Ferguson credited girlfriend Myka Cain for coming up with his handle.
@danabrams Great to hear from you.Love the twitter handle myself.Myka's brilliance.It'll be used for a lot in the future!Hope to speak soon.— Ryan Ferguson (@lifeafterten) January 14, 2014
Ferguson also posted a video to the Freed Ryan Ferguson page (click thumbnail to view). It shows Ferguson and his father on the beach of St. Kitts, in the Caribbean. Ferguson waved at the camera and said, after two months off, it's time to get to work taking up the cases of others.
He said his journey has been a "wild ride," and the family vacation was the last stop before getting down to business.
Ferguson encouraged his supporters to follow him on Twitter and Instagram so they can, "see what you've given my family and I."
He is sharing everything from what he had for breakfast to inspirational quotes.
Breakfast of champions! Nothing better than starting the day out right. It's so easy, why not? pic.twitter.com/OW5AGwb4Uh— Ryan Ferguson (@lifeafterten) January 15, 2014
I would have to agree. Love this quote! pic.twitter.com/QyAIFzexwI— Ryan Ferguson (@lifeafterten) January 16, 2014
Social media played a large role in winning public support for Ferguson during his years in prison. A Facebook page devoted to him has nearly 100,000 likes. It's founder, Richard Drew, posted Wednesday, outlining social media strategies for others who may be facing injustice.
"As you all know there are sadly far too many cases just like Ryan's - and we look forward to telling these stories in the weeks and months to come."