Sunday, March 8, 2009

More on the Upcoming Death Penalty Vote

On Friday I interviewed Randy Steidl, a man who spent 17 years in an Illinois prison, including 12 years on death row before his case was thrown out of court is HERE.

Steidl is pictured here with Viki Elkey of New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear the death penalty repeal bill, HB285, Monday afternoon.

Steidl's case is fascinating. It was the subject of a lengthy report on CBS's 48 Hours. You can read that entire report HERE.

A former Illinois State Police lieutenant who tried to reopen the case told CBS “I was told that I could not reopen the Rhoads case. That it was too politically sensitive. I could not touch it.”

The officer, Michale Callahan, eventually was transferred out of the investigations division. He sued the department, claiming alleged his superiors punished him for conclusions he reached in that investigation. Though the jury in Callahan's civil suit ruled in the detective's favor, a federal appeals court reversed that verdict.

Callahan believes that the person behind the killings might be a businessman and a big contributor to Illinois politicians.

Steidl on Friday talked about possible political motives for Illinois authorities. He said shortly before the murders, he and his co-defendant, Herb Whitlock had talked to the FBI about corruption and public drug use by local law enforcement.


Don't forget to catch me this morning on Eye on New Mexico on KOB TV, Channel 4, 10 a.m.