Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fighting for exoneration of a convict long dead

A veteran cop. A reporter. Students bent on exposing flaws in the criminal justice system.

An unusual alliance has teamed up to prove the system got it wrong three decades ago when Grover Thompson, a mentally ill man with few chances in life, was sent to prison for 40 years.

Redemption, if it comes, will be too late for Thompson, who died 15 years ago in prison, still a quarter-century short of completing his sentence for attempted murder in the stabbing an elderly woman in Mt. Vernon.

A spot of blood found on a pocket knife Thompson was carrying proved so small that authorities could not identify a blood type, according to research by the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, a University of Illinois Springfield program aimed at reversing wrongful convictions.

The case was featured in an January 12, 2012, article in the Illinois Times.

Read the story online