Who is Ryan Ferguson? 'The Amazing Race' Contestant Wrongfully Imprisoned for 10 Years

Ryan Ferguson is a contestant on The Amazing Race Season 33, which began airing on CBS on Wednesday, January 5.

He and his friend Dusty Harris are currently competing against 10 other teams of two to win a $1 Million prize during a race around the world.

But Ferguson was in the public eye before his appearance on the competition show, as he was wrongfully imprisoned for 10 years for a murder he did not commit.

How The Amazing Race contestant Ryan Ferguson was wrongfully imprisoned

In 2001, Columbia Daily Tribune editor Ken Heitholt was killed after being beaten and strangled in the parking lot of the publication in Columbia, Missouri.

Two years after the murder Charles "Chuck" Erickson, who was Ferguson's friend and was with him at a Halloween party on the night Heitholt was killed, claimed he was having dreams of the crime but did not remember doing it, and said he was concerned he was responsible.

Erickson admitted to the crime shortly thereafter and he implicated then 19-year-old Ferguson in the incident, which led to them both being convicted of murder.

While there was no physical or DNA evidence of the pair at the scene Erickson's testimony and a statement from a janitor claiming to have seen them at the scene of the crime led to the conviction.

Ferguson maintained his innocence throughout the trial and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and Erickson took a plea deal that led him to be given a 25-year sentence.

Making a Murderer attorney Kathleen Zellner helped overturn Ferguson conviction in 2013, and he was released after serving 10 years in prison.

Ferguson's wrongful conviction was the subject of an episode of Dateline and also the documentary Dream/Killer.

He appeared on Reality Life with Kate Casey to discuss his case, and said: "I feel for the other people who are still experiencing what I experienced. That's always my first thought and last thought.

"Just knowing that we have a criminal justice in America and it is not functioning properly. There's no accountability for police and prosecutors when they do the wrong thing. My prosecutor is now a judge! It's mind boggling."

Erickson is currently trying to appeal his conviction, and there is a petition asking Missouri Governor Mike Parson to have him freed.

Since being released Ferguson has petitioned for others like him who were wrongfully committed to be freed, including Erickson.

The Amazing Race airs Wednesdays on CBS.

The Amazing Race Season 33
Ryan Ferguson, Dusty Harris and host Phil Keoghan in "The Amazing Race" Season 33. Ferguson was wrongfully convicted of murder and was imprisoned for 10 years. Michele Crowe/CBS