Unjust imprisonment should outrage public

Unjust imprisonment should outrage public

Once again, The News-Gazette did an excellent job on reporting a miscarriage of justice.

I'm writing about Jim Dey's May 3 column on a 1980 Rantoul murder case involving Andre Davis.

Davis' conviction was overturned after new DNA evidence linked another man to the death of a 3-year-old girl. He was freed in summer 2012, even though the new DNA evidence was uncovered in 2004.

What Dey reported is craziness — that prosecutors let a man stay in prison an additional eight years after DNA evidence proved him innocent.

It is a good example that prosecutors don't even trust 100 percent proof evidence, and that's a shame. They have blinders on with a extreme case of tunnel vision.

In the circumstance of State's Attorney Julia Rietz, this was such an old court case she certainly didn't make the original mistakes. But she can't let go of the position that "prosecutors don't make mistakes" when, in fact, it seems they do all the time.

And we wonder why people don't trust the government. They let Davis rot in prison for eight additional years after discovering proof that he was not the one who killed the little girl.

One other thing, the $200,000 in state compensation Davis will receive is $6,250 per year for each of the 32 years he spent in prison. That seems a little low.

Davis was 19 when he arrested. Let's say he hadn't gone to prison and found a low-paying job of $23,000 annually and never received a raise for 32 years. That would come to $736,000.

There should be some type of punishment for public officials who use their positions to do things of this nature. It's craziness.

JIM ESSLINGER

Tuscola

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