The Problem with Judges who do not keep up with the times


Fred Freeman
Fred Freeman - 33 years and counting

The courts grant a writ of habeas corpus to very few individuals. This blog is about Mr. Freeman’s second habeas and how a judge justified not setting him free. I've tried to summarize the 36-page document, which you can read by clicking here. I am not a lawyer.


For over three decades Fred Freeman has fought for his freedom, based on a claim of actual innocence, i.e., they convicted the wrong man! The original trial was a mockery of justice with extremely weak eyewitness testimony and only speculation, rather than evidence, as to how he might have pulled it off. Hard to do when you're 450 miles away from the crime scene. By character assassination, a jury found him guilty.


William Bertelsman
William O. Bertelsman

Judge William O. Bertelsman is a Senior U.S. District Judge of Eastern Kentucky. The status of “senior” means that he stepped down from the court eighteen years ago! Still, from time to time, he is given cases to decide by himself., rather than a panel.


Judge Bertelsman begins by summarizing that Freeman’s habeas depended upon two main points: a Brady claim and an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The petition must be based on procedural grounds, usually related to unethical behavior or incompetence, which end up denying the person his constitutional rights. Still, Freem