The Fairbanks Four

Free The Fairbanks Four

A federal civil rights suit filed by the Fairbanks Four can move forward. The 4 Native men, who spent decades in prison for a murder evidence has since shown others were likely responsible for, are suing the city of Fairbanks for racially biased and malicious prosecution.  As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the 9 Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Friday on a technical issue related to whether the four can sue.


Jun 26, 2020

06-25-20 12:30 PM newscast


The Fairbanks Four’s release from prison last year inspired virtuoso Emerson Eads to compose a piece titled “Mass for the Oppressed.” Eads has lined up some impressive talent to perform the piece next month, and he’s arranged for proceeds from sales of the production to go to an organization that represented the four Alaska Native men in court.

Rachel Saylor

A member of the Tanana Chiefs Conference Native Justice Task Force says the federal Department of Justice is tracking the case of the Fairbanks Four. That’s the four Alaska Native men who the task force and others say were wrongfully convicted of killing a teenager in Fairbanks in 1997.

Anchroage, AK - Fairbanks City Mayor John Eberhart addressed close to 3000 people Thursday during the opening remarks at this year’s Alaska Federation of Natives Convention.


This year’s theme is ‘Rise as One.’ Eberhart offered his opinion on what that might mean.


The State Department of Law says it’s just beginning to review post conviction relief applications filed on behalf of the “Fairbanks 4”.  The applications center on sworn statements from 2 individuals tying the 1997 murder of John Hartman to people other than the men jailed for the crime.  As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports state and local criminal justice officials are proceeding cautiously.

Dan Bross / KUAC

Hundreds of Alaska Natives gathered outside the state court house in Fairbanks yesterday to hear news about a local murder case that’s long raised questions.  Four Fairbanks men, 3 of whom are Alaska Native, are serving time for the 1997 stomping death of local teen John Hartman. The case of “the Fairbanks Four” lacked physical evidence and has been reexamined in recent years by local Native advocates and the Alaska Innocence Project. Yesterday the group filed requests for post conviction relief that cite evidence showing the men are innocent.  KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.

The Alaska Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could lead to a new trial for one of the Fairbanks 4.  The high court turned down a state appeal of an earlier decision allowing Eugene Vent a hearing to argue his attorney did not adequately represent him during his murder trial. Vent and 3 other local men are serving multi decade prison sentences for the 1997 beating death of Fairbanks teenager John Hartman on a downtown street.  KUAC’s Dan Bross reports.