George was Right

August 2, 2006

Evidence continues to mount that Illinois’ former-governor George Ryan did the right thing in commuting the death sentences of every Death Row inmate in Illinois a few years ago. Though prosecutorial abuse continues in Illinois, justice does occasionally get its day…

Julie Rea-Harper was released from prison in Illinois this week, after a jury overturned her conviction in an earlier trial. She had been convicted of having stabbed to death her 10-year-old son. While no hard evidence was available in the first trial, prosecutors had managed to convince a jury that she killed her son rather then let her husband have custody of the child following their divorce. That conviction was overturned on a technicality; apparently, the jury didn’t know that an inmate in Texas had confessed to killing her son.

Update: Its since been reported that Rea-Harper’s defense was handled by the local Public Defender’s office. You get what you pay for is an old, but true maxim, so it seems equally true that those accused who have to rely on public defenders will get exactly as much justice as they paid for — which is to say not much.

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