Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Does Illinois really need death penalty reform to make it harder for State's Attorneys to use capital punishment for political purposes?

Uhh... yeah.

From the Sun-Times:
Former Will County State's Attorney Jeff Tomczak helped coerce a bogus confession last fall from the father of 3-year-old murder victim Riley Fox in a last-ditch bid to win re-election, an amended federal lawsuit filed Monday charges.

The new allegation comes in a lawsuit filed by Kevin Fox, who spent more than eight months in custody after being charged in October 2004 with sexually assaulting and murdering his youngest child. Charges against the 28-year-old Wilmington man were dropped in June after DNA tests failed to connect him to Riley's death.

The revised federal lawsuit contends Tomczak -- locked in a tight political race -- worked in the final days before the Nov. 2, 2004 election with nine Will County sheriff's department officers to pry a confession from Kevin Fox.

"Defendant Tomczak's quest for power led him to abuse the power he already possessed,'' Fox contends in his lawsuit. ***

Tomczak, a Republican, narrowly lost his re-election bid to Democrat James Glasgow.

Immediately after that loss, the suit contends, Tomczak ordered an investigator to call a halt to DNA testing that could have cleared Kevin Fox.
See also: Zorn - Birkett's zeal is questionable in Nicarico case

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