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Burris Pushed for Death Penalty for Innocent Man

Pro Publica’s Ben Protess does some digging into the past of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, who was chosen to fill President-elect Barack

Jul 31, 2020
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Pro Publica’s Ben Protess does some digging into the past of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, who was chosen to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich was arrested last month for scheming to sell the seat. It seems there is at least one very legitimate reason to oppose Burris’ nomination, other than the fact that he is the disgraced governor’s choice.
The story appears at Politico:
While state attorney general in 1992, Burris aggressively sought the death penalty for Rolando Cruz, who twice was convicted of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. The crime took place in 1983.
But by 1992, another man had confessed to the crime, and Burris’ own deputy attorney general was pleading with Burris to drop the case, then on appeal before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Burris refused. He was running for governor.
According to the article, Cruz spent 11 years on death row before being set free in 1995 after being acquitted in a third trial. A prosecutor and a detective resigned in protest of the prosecutorial misconduct they witnessed while working on the case.
Burris’ bid for the Senate seat may have been doomed from the beginning, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Obama have both voiced opposition to the pick, but the Cruz case will likely be another nail in the coffin.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

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