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First man freed from death row by DNA testing to highlight Edinboro University’s Law, Government and Criminal Justice Day

Tuesday, April 17 at Frank G. Pogue Student Center


EDINBORO, Pa. – The first person released from death row in the U.S. by post-conviction DNA testing will be one of the featured speakers at Edinboro University’s Law, Government and Criminal Justice Day on Tuesday, April 17.

Kirk Bloodsworth, a former Marine who was convicted in 1984 of sexual assault, rape and first-degree, premeditated murder in the death of a nine-year-old girl and then sentenced to death, was freed after nine years in a Maryland prison when DNA testing by state and federal crime laboratories showed that his DNA did not match any of the crime scene evidence.

Bloodsworth will be joined by John Rago, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Wrongful Convictions and an Associate Professor at Duquesne University’s School of Law, in a collaborative presentation on the timely and controversial issue of wrongful convictions in the United States.

Highlighting Edinboro’s Law, Government and Criminal Justice Day, their thought-provoking presentation on the scope of wrongful convictions in the U.S., and how DNA testing has exonerated a number of death row inmates, will take place in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Scot Theatre at 2 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, as are all of the day’s activities.

Also an important component of Law, Government and Criminal Justice Day, an Employment and Career Fair will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pogue Center's Multipurpose Room. All interested students are encouraged to bring along their resumes, transcripts, references, and other materials necessary when seeking employment as the fair affords excellent opportunities to meet with prospective employers, as well as discussing with the visiting professionals internship and career interests in the students’ chosen fields.

Edinboro students can also meet with admission representatives of graduate school programs in areas of law, political science, public policy, criminal justice, forensic science, forensic accounting and related fields. Fair sponsors emphasize that the event is open to all students, no matter their majors or careers interests.

“All are welcome and all are encouraged to attend and participate,” said Elvage G. Murphy, J.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, and one of the key organizers of this annual event.

For example, Murphy said, representatives of Pennsylvania State University, the Dickinson School of Law and the Duquesne School of Law will be on hand to provide a presentation on law school admissions during a 1 p.m. session in the Pogue Center’s Scot Theatre.

Another academic highlight of the day-long event is the presentation by Edinboro University students of papers they authored on select areas of the law and criminal justice policy. Their presentations will be made to higher education and law enforcement agency representatives starting at 11 a.m. in the Pogue Center’s Multipurpose Room.

As part of Law, Government and Criminal Justice Day, the American Red Cross will hold a day-long blood drive in the Pogue Center's Zahorchak Seminar Room.

The day’s events will culminate with the induction of new members into Alpha Phi Sigma/Kappa Omega Rho, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

For more information, please contact the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at 814-732-2409 or e-mail