Murkowski Shares Fairbanks Four Concerns with Attorney General Eric Holder

Senator Writes Letter Advocating “No Stone Be Left Unturned” in Inquiry

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Lisa Murkowski today contacted United States Attorney General Eric Holder to bring the Alaska review of the Fairbanks Four case to his attention, as the Alaska Department of Law began its investigation.  In a letter (attached)  to Holder, Murkowski updated the Attorney General of the grave concerns of many Alaskans that the four Alaska Natives found guilty of the October 10th, 1997 homicide may not be responsible for the death.

Her letter concludes:

“On October 8, 2013, the Alaska Department of Law agreed to review this evidence while noting, “The Department of Law remains confident that all four convictions were properly obtained based upon the evidence presented at the trials.” The AKIP has also sought post-conviction relief on behalf of “The Fairbanks Four” in the Alaska Court System.

“I am grateful that the State of Alaska has agreed to review the information submitted by the AKIP. However, the portion of the October 8th statement expressing confidence that the convictions were properly obtained has raised questions within the Alaska Native community on the question of whether the State of Alaska can and will objectively investigate its past conduct.

“While I have every confidence that the State of Alaska’s investigation will reach a just conclusion, it is crucial that no stone be left unturned with respect to the question of whether “The Fairbanks Four” have been unlawfully incarcerated. As current Fairbanks Police Chief Laren Zager told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, “The last thing any officer wants to see is an innocent person sitting in jail.”