Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prisoner Review Board asked to exonerate dead man

Police officers Paul Echols and Jimmy Smith did something Wednesday they’ve never done before – ask the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to exonerate a man.

Echols, a retired Carbondale officer and Smith, a detective from Cape Girardeau, Mo., were among the witnesses trying to clear the name of Grover Thompson, who died in prison while serving a 40-year sentence for attempted murder. Thompson’s advocates say he didn’t commit the crime.

No one at Wednesday’s hearing spoke against Thompson’s exoneration. The Prisoner Review Board will make a recommendation to Gov. Pat Quinn, who will ultimately decide the case.

Echols wrote a book about Krajcir that included a chapter about Thompson. The book and Thompson’s case drew the attention of an intern with the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield, which has pressed for clemency for Thompson.

“The injustice in this case is huge,” said director Larry Golden.

The case was featured in an January 12, 2012, article in The State Journal-Register.

Read the article online