The Private Eye Trying to Prove an Innocent Man Was Sentenced to Death

C.J. Ford is a former P.I. who now investigates the criminal justice system.


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C.J. Ford, Jr. is a California-based private investigator who runs a one-man shop in a sparsely furnished office in the same Orange County church where he serves as an usher during Saturday night services.

He spent years tailing cheating spouses and insurance frauds, much like Jim Rockford of the popular 1970s NBC television series The Rockford Files, which Ford credits for sparking his interest in becoming a private eye. But after investigating corrupt Los Angeles police officers during the Rampart scandal and a personal run-in with law enforcement, Ford changed his focus to something new: investigating false convictions and other abuses of the criminal justice system. 

Ford spends most of his time helping those who can't afford to hire expensive attorneys and investigators, those most likely to be overwhelmed by the system. And for almost a decade he's committed countless hours to the cause of exonerating Kenneth Clair, a man who he believes was wrongfully sentenced to death and who still sits behind bars after more than three decades. And what's more, Ford uncovered the existence of DNA evidence that he believes can point him toward an alternative suspect in the murder. The problem is, the county won't release the name of the DNA match.

The petition asking the Orange County DA to release the DNA evidence in the Kenneth Clair murder case is available to view and sign here.

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Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Music by Kevin MacLeod and Chris Zabriskie. Approximately 8 minutes.