For Immediate Release
Sept. 13, 2019
The following is a statement from Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker about her office's decision regarding Ricky Kidd's criminal case from 1996. A dismissal memo filed with the Jackson County Circuit Court is attached. Click on the link at the bottom of this page:
I support Mr. Kidd’s release and find the evidence is insufficient to proceed toward another trial. Our office must act as a minister of justice. We must ensure fairness to Mr. Kidd. And we must recognize that Mr. Kidd has already served 23 years in prison.
In order to proceed to trial again, our ethical duty requires that, 23 years after the murder, the admissible evidence be capable of establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The passage of time, unavailability of some witnesses, and changed testimony proscribe that we cannot achieve that standard. Therefore, we are dismissing this case. Whether this case is viewed through the lens of a DeKalb County Court that Mr. Kidd is innocent, or a U.S. District Court finding the evidence was sufficient, or simply that the still-existing evidence can no longer stand the test of time, we should remember that two victims’ families with deep wounds remain.
The impact on any victim when the system fails is tragic. This case is not different. In preparation for today’s action, our office met with the victims. When I met with the then-4-year-old witness, she recalled the drop of blood she saw on the kitchen floor shortly after hearing gunshots in her home all those years ago. She recounted that blood drop as if it were indelibly etched in her mind along with the loss of her father. She is clearly haunted by that day along with other members of her family.
In the end, the criminal justice system must demonstrate it always seeks to get it right.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954